Thursday, September 15, 2016

Learning from Picture Books –SEED TO SUNFLOWER

I was thrilled to discover this non-fiction book because the sunflowers my class planted last year have grown to be so big over the summer! It’s a perfect selection for a classroom science book shelf! 

Summary from Amazon:

How do sunflowers begin? What do sunflowers need to grow? When do the flowers open?

Packed with fascinating facts about life cycles, amazing photographs of every stage, and labelled diagrams to explain growth and development.

Discover the amazing stages of different life cycles and learn all about your favorite species with this stunning series. From plants and birds to garden animals, readers will soon learn how different species are born, grow up, and reproduce. Each book has amazing photographs, easy-to-understand text, and discussion points for further learning.

Seed to Sunflower was written by Camilla de la Bedoyere, originally published in 2009 by QED in the UK and in 2016 by QEB Publishing in the USA. A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

I liked the way size comparisons are relative to something children are very familiar with (e.g., “A seed is no bigger than your fingernail…”).  Each sentence is short and clear, with one piece of information. Words are explained in the text and in the glossary. This is a great example of a non-fiction book that is accessible to young readers. Even if they can’t read the text, the photographs will capture their attention.

My Thoughts as a Teacher:

I especially love the big colour photographs, which show close ups and details of plants and seedlings. This book is full of information, but not so much that it will overwhelm students. Choosing a sunflower as an example for how seeds grow is perfect, since sunflowers are easy for students to grow themselves.

Ages: 4 – 8

Grades: K-3

Themes: sunflowers, growth, life cycles


Act out the life cycle of a sunflower. Can you make a sunflower dance?

Plant your own sunflower seed and watch it develop! See how tall or how fast it grows.

Get arty and create a design using sunflower seeds. Or look closely at real sunflowers and make a drawing or painting.

More activities and ideas can be found on the last page of the book.

Other information:

This book is part of a life cycle series all written by the same author, with similar style and photographs. Other titles include: Caterpillar to Butterfly, Egg to Bee, Tadpole to Frog, Egg to Chicken, Acorn to Oak Tree.


  1. Ooh, I love PBs like this! They are so helpful to parents. Sighs...I remember when... Thank you for sharing it!

  2. What a beautiful book about life cycles. The cover really grabs you!

  3. Some years ago, my husband and I grew sunflowers. The large blooms towered over us, suported on their sturdy, tree-like stems. The centers filled with plump seed pods we planned on picking the following morning. After breakfast, we each brought a large dish outside only to find that a famished family of chipmonks had their breakfast long before we did. Not one seed remained. Loving sunflowers as much as I do, I know I'm going to enjoy your PPBF selection.

  4. We had huge sunflowers here too. Looks like a wonderful story for kiddos to learn about gardening.

  5. sunflowers are so fun - and easy for kids to grow. And they provide lots of pollen for bees. great book - and great activities

  6. Beautiful striking book. Love anything to do with flowers and gardens that help kids. Great find.


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