I recently had the great pleasure to teach a couple of nature lessons to my girls’ first grade class – the first about seeds and the second about squirrels. So, this book was perfect. In Because of an Acorn, mother and son team Lola and Adam Schaefer tell the story of the cycle of the seed through the whimsy of the animal world. True to a cycle, the book begins and ends with the acorn, the middle part packed full of its adventures between seed and tree and seed once again. They take a complicated concept and make it lyrical and lovely for the youngest of readers. The refrain of “because of” leads us from one animal to the next, showing all of the links in this little acorn’s life. Frann Preston-Gannon’s collage-like illustrations are striking and clear, playfully hiding the next creature of the story on each page for the reader to find. The cutouts at the beginning and end of an acorn and oak leaf are fun ways to reveal parts of the cycle. The primary storyline is quite brief, almost like a little poem. But, for readers interested in learning more, they can read about oak trees, sprouts and saplings as well as acorns, of course. And, you can also read about ways to help the forest by recycling and learning more about its ecosystem.
Suggested Ages: This is a great book for readers as young as pre-K who can follow the repetition and simple text. Early readers will find this a fun one to practice repeated words and learn new ones, helped along with the pictures. And, those in older elementary grades will appreciate the supplemental information at the end.