Plants Can't Sit Still

"Planted" often means stuck in one place, but author Rebecca E. Hirsch jostles that perspective in this eye-opening picture-book exploration of how "on the move" plants really are.

The dandelions on the endpapers of Plants Can't Sit Still are a fine example of the dynamic nature of plants, as flying fluffy white seeds anchor in the dirt, grow roots, push up leaves, bloom into yellow flowers and then transform into puffballs that send their seeds soaring. Leaves, petals, tendrils and flowers morph organically in appealing cut-paper collage and watercolor, and the text, while factual, bends toward the poetic: "Plants can wiggle./ As seeds start to grow, they squirm out of the spring soil,/ unfold their leaves,/ and reach/ for the warmth/ and the light." Morning glories climb fences and ivy walks up walls. Dreamy starlit illustrations reveal that "Some plants sleep at night,/ leaves nodding,/ flowers folding"; interestingly, the concluding notes say scientists are uncertain as to why plants do that at night. Readers will marvel at light-seeking moonflowers, bouncing tumbleweeds and adventuring seeds: "A seed is a plant built for travel./ Seeds can whirl like helicopters/ or float on parachutes/ or glide on papery wings./ But they can't sit still."

Mia Posada's (Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg; Who Was Here? Discovering Wild Animal Tracks) terrific illustrations will have kids suspiciously eyeing the climbing, snapping, even squirting weeds, vines and flowers they once saw as still. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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