Cover image for The seed
The seed
Pin, Isabel.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Kern. English
Publication Information:
New York : North-South Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
A seed falls onto the boundary between two rival tribes of insects and provokes preparations for war, but a simple solution is growing while they prepare.
General Note:
"A Michael Neugebauer book."

"First published in Switzerland under the title, Der Kern."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.0 0.5 52409.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



One day a seed drops from the sky and lands right on the border between two territories. The tribes on both sides of the border immediately claim it. ""This means war!"" their leaders declare. Both sides prepare for battle with great inventiveness, creating huge arsenals of deadly weapons, and drawing up complicated plans of attack. But ironically, in the midst of all these preparations, the seed itself is quietly providing the simple solution that the tribes, in their haste, have overlooked.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. When a cherry pit falls exactly on the border of two territories, each side envisions a beautiful cherry orchard and becomes determined to own the seed. The opposing tribes are beetles, the Scarabs and the Chafers, and they "prepare for war with great inventiveness." Elaborate plans are made, tunnels dug, and weapons created, but while the years of preparations go on, the cherry tree does just what you'd expect. The outcome is obvious from the beginning, with Pin's antiwar statement made clear in both the text and in the striking illustrations. The stark landscapes are strongly colored (in tones of rust and green), as are the beetles themselves. Numbers and diagrams are incorporated into the pictures, making the contrast between the warring tribes and the delicately flowering cherry tree all the more apparent. It's not subtle, but it makes an important point in these days of school violence. For slightly older children, see Anais Vaugelade's picture book allegory The War [BKL Mr 15 01]. --Susan Dove Lempke

Publisher's Weekly Review

A surreal, post-apocalyptic landscape looms from the pages of French author and illustrator Pin's antiwar allegory. When a "strange, rolling rock" lands on the border between two insect tribes (the Scarabs and the Chafers), both groups determine that the rock is actually a cherry stone, and a tussle for ownership begins. Over a period of years, "both sides prepared for war with great inventiveness." On the day of the attack, however, the armies suddenly notice that the object of their dispute has grown into a cherry tree with "branches reaching out over both lands." If the moral lacks subtlety, Pin makes her point in a lighthearted manner, ultimately dwarfing the prose with a crazy quilt of unusual images. The insectsÄodd, angular creatures which appear to be part beetle, part cockroachÄbristle with anticipation, hoarding their maps and contraptions, and the artist forms a Dali-esque backdrop from a mottled scrim of color harmonies that bounce from the lurid (flame reds, oranges and yellows) to the more subdued but still pungent tones (mustard and turquoise). Ana‹s Vaugelade's The War (Children's Forecasts, Feb. 5) takes on the same topic with a wryer tone, but Pin pulls off her theme with ‚lan, relying on an overarching integrity of design to unite the elements into a sophisticated but amiable whole. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Two insect tribes discover that a cherry pit has fallen on the border between their lands. Since each group wants the pit to cultivate its own cherry orchard, the Scarabs and the Chafers prepare for war, even though neither group likes the idea very much. They spend years digging tunnels and planning strategy, never noticing that the pit has buried itself in the ground. The seed becomes a tree with branches that stretch over both territories, making conflict unnecessary. This allegory about greed and the futility of war builds in intensity as the two opponents stockpile weapons and dig trenches and tunnels. Pin's unusual, surrealistic illustrations, many of them double-page spreads, are filled with texture created by blotches of paint, depressions on the paint's surface, and torn paper. The art depicts fantastical creatures, their bodies decorated with colorful geometric designs, going about the business of preparing for battle. There are close-ups of angry leaders and scientists making calculations, and aerial scenes of armies ready to fight. The endpapers cleverly sum up the story: chaos on the front papers, and cherry trees in bloom on the back pages.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.