In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells His followers, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” In The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted, children’s author Anthony DeStefano makes this saying come alive for kids. With a relatable story and adorable illustrations about a little seed, DeStefano helps kids learn about faith.
I received this book for review courtesy of the publisher; all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Story of a Seed
When The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted arrived in the mail, I didn’t see it for a few days. I heard one of the older girls reading it to her younger sisters, and saw the younger girls flipping through the pages. The book drifted from the living room to their room and back again. Finally, I managed to grab it for myself and flip through the pages, and found out why the girls loved it so much.
The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted features adorable illustrations by Erwin Madrid. Each page has rich, colourful illustrations to go with the story. It was easy to see why the younger girls flipped through the book even without anyone reading to them. The illustrations draw kids of all ages into the story.
Written in rhyming verse, this story is told from the perspective of the seed. The little seed is comfortable in a drawer in a mansion, where he gets to play with other seeds. Then one day, the farmer takes him out of the drawer and drops him in the cold, dark earth—fulfilling the seed’s worst fears. However, as he lays there crying in the dirt, something unexpected happens…
I think most of us, even as adults, can identify with the seed in the drawer. There’s plenty in this story for parents to discuss with their children or even meditate upon themselves. I know I’ve been like the seed in the past, unwilling to leave my comfy drawer, or sitting in the dirt longing for the drawer again, when God has so much more that He wants to give.
The tree was aware
of laughter and music
and life everywhere—
Life in the garden,
life on the shore,
so much more life
than he had in the drawer.
Teaching with The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted
At the end of the book, DeStefano provides a few verses from the Bible about seeds. Of course the parables of the Mustard Seed and the Sower jump to mind. If you search “seed” in a concordance or on Bible Gateway, though, there are actually quite a few references to seeds in the Bible. For older kids, The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted could turn into a faith study.
The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted shares…
- how the planting of a seed (of faith) in life can bear great fruit
- how even the smallest of seeds can reap the largest growth (like the mustard seed)
- how death brings a beautiful new life
- how getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing being planted in a new place is not always easy but once embraced can bear more fruit than anyone could ever imagine
- Christ’s famous parables involving seeds and grains that have to “fall to the ground and die” in order to “bear fruit”
That’s a lot to pack into a kids’ storybook, but Anthony DeStefano is a master storyteller! Like Jesus’ parables, The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted will delight readers young and old and provide much to think on long after the story is finished.
More about Anthony DeStefano
Anthony DeStefano is the best-selling author of twenty Christian books for adults and children, including Our Lady’s Wardrobe, This Little Prayer of Mine, and Little Star. He hosts a TV series, A Travel Guide to Life, on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He is also a pilot, businessman, and long-time pro-life advocate who has worked with Fr. Frank Pavone. To find out more about him or his books, drop by his website.
The Seed who was Afraid to be Planted works on so many levels. It will help children to overcome all the different kinds of fears they face; it will help them to grieve the loss of loved ones; and perhaps most importantly, it will help them to grow into the kind of adults God intends them to be: joyful, faithful, and courageous Christians. ~ Doug Keck, President, COO and Host of Bookmark, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)
Thanks for the review. I’m always interested in picture books & it’s good to see a detailed review on this one. I found your blog via Carole’s Chatter link-up. 🙂