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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rooting for You: A Moving Up Story, written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Hyperion Books, Hachette. 2014. $17.99 ages 3 and up

"Who are you?
Are you...
a monster?
No, Bud,
I'm a sower,
a seeder,
a mulcher,
a weeder -"

Who is the little green pea-sized thing that is so afraid of the dark that it refuses to come out? The fear of what lies ahead is something with which most children and many adults have real life experience. So, it is no surprise that a seed might feel that same way.

It likes being alone and safe, until boredom sets in. Perhaps a little root might add some amusement, and maybe a little shoot will help, too. Wait? What just bonked it on the head? Luckily, a wise worm is nearby, offering assurances that a friend is near and there is no cause for worry and concern. The worm is there to provide all the help needed.

There are things to fear, and fears to overcome on its way to the fulfillment of its real lot in life. With encouragement and taking it slowly, the seed finally reaches its full potential and brightens the world a little bit, just as it was meant to do!

Ms. Hood's rhyming text will delight young readers who know just how that small seed must be feeling as it tries to find its way in life. No matter the obstacles, the friendly worm's advice and cheerleading keeps it 'moving up'. Matthew Cordell creates warm cartoon-like artwork for the underground world that is home to the tiny, insecure seedling. He uses dark outlines, a quiet palette of browns and greens with a touch of pink for the bespectacled earthworm to call our attention to the emotions felt. The foldouts add interest and an interactive component to this tale of triumph.

I think you are going to love it!                                                                  

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