One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge is not a new book. I was surprised to learn it was first published in 1986 and was released in 2008 again. I picked it up at NCTE and assumed it was new and now I wonder what the first edition looked like. The jacket flap shares this edition has a bold cover and brilliant interior art. If you have the first edition I would love to know the difference.
One Watermelon Seed is a perfect book to use in helping students with two Common Core standards. Those that count by ones and then kindergarten students can count by tens. The characters Max and Josephine plant a garden. Each page the number of seeds increase by one and the reader is encouraged to read along with this repetitive phrase, "and they grew." I enjoyed the perspective visible via the illustration on each planting page done by Karen Patkau. The reader only sees parts of Max and Josephine as they plant. My favorite page is their bare feet in the garden. The middle two page spread is bursting with vibrant colors as the garden is in full bloom. The story continues by counting the harvest for each seed planted. I think the pattern of 1 seed producing 10 vegetables or fruits leads to a problem solving situation. The majority of the time each vegetable is organized in a group of ten. At the end of the story, the reader is presented with a small creature search within the illustrations. An Eye Spy within a picture book is bound to be a hit with readers. I really appreciate the natural setting for counting and counting with a purpose.