Natalie McKinnon (text), Margaret Tolland (illus.), Seed Magic (The Spider Series), Starfish Bay Publishing, June 2018, 40pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760360313
From the corner of the garden, a spider enjoys the peaceful sounds that surround her, from the dripping of the garden tap to the leaves rustling on the garden path. But one day, the spider hears a sound that’s not so peaceful; ‘Hurry, scurry, worry-worry’! It’s the sound of a frantic ant, desperate to collect enough seeds to eat during the winter.
Time after time, the busy ant collects the seeds from the garden and then drops them into his tunnel. The spider becomes worried that the ant will strip the garden bare of all seeds, but the ant has no time to worry about this! So, the clever spider hatches a plan to make an exchange – five seeds for a scarf of silk to keep the ant warm over winter.
Soon winter comes and goes, and in the springtime, the spider shows the ants what she has done with her five seeds; they have grown into glorious ears of corn that produce not only delicious food, but lots more seeds for next winter. The ant has learnt that by saving and planting some seeds, he can turn a few seeds into many!
This fun picture book features delightful characters, an engaging story and themes of teamwork, problem solving and friendship. The marvellous illustrations are awash in various tones of green, with the tiny details of the garden from the perspective of the spider and the ant depicted beautifully. This would make a wonderful teaching tool for children learning about nature, seasons and gardening.
Reviewed by Melinda Allan