Published August 29th 2017 by HarperCollins
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know?
He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy?
With Jory John’s charming and endearing text and bold expressive illustrations by Pete Oswald, here is The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for readers young and old, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.
(Because really, how can you not immediately expect great things, after looking at the cover?)
John shares the story of a sunflower seed, who is actually a bad seed. The seed explains just how it evolved into becoming the type of seed who talks through movies and lies about "pointless stuff" - a traumatic incident near the beginning of life made it think nothing mattered, and being bad was the end result.
But. The seed decides one day that he's had enough. He wants to be better, and John cheerfully details that change.
What's great about The Bad Seed isn't just that it's incredibly funny, but it also contains a great parable on the ability to reinvent yourself. Jory acknowledges via the seed that change is important but comes slowly, and shows that it's a question of trial and error, as the seed slowly works on becoming a good seed.
While this may seem like a bit of a heady lesson for a younger reader, I actually think that it's perfectly timed for those who are right in their key years of development. Many younger readers are at a point in which they need reassurance that they can become different things than what they were originally destined to be, and The Bad Seed is a great reminder on the possibilities of making that happen.
With fantastic bold art by Pete Oswald - I can pretty much guarantee you'll be clamoring to get a print of the seed - this is a delightful add to any book shelf. Highly recommend, full stop.
About the author/illustrator:
Jory John is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor recipient. Jory’s work includes the award-winning Goodnight Already! series, the bestselling Terrible Two series, the recent picture books Penguin Problems and Quit Calling Me a Monster!, and the national bestseller All my friends are dead, among many other books. He lives and works in Oregon, where he tries to be a very good seed, indeed.
Pete Oswald is a painter, illustrator, and filmmaker. He is the co-creator of Mingo the Flamingo. Pete worked as a character designer and concept artist on the popular films Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Hotel Transylvania. His short film The Story of Walls earned him an Annie Award nomination. He was the production designer of The Angry Birds Movie. Pete lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife and two sons. You can visit him online at peteoswald.tumblr.com.