The Carrot Seed – think positive

Carrot-Seed-HC-c1A boy cares for a carrot seed despite discouraging words from others.  Will a carrot come up?


Bibliographic Info:  Krauss, Ruth (author), Johnson, Crockett (illustrator) The Carrot Seed  Harper Collins (1945)  Formats: Hardcover 60th Anniversary Edition ISBN 0-06-023350-8 $12.99, Board Book, Paperback  ISBN 0-06-443210-6, Spanish Edition, Library Big Book, Audio CD  Reading Level/Grade Level Equivalent: 2.2  Interest Level: preK-3  Genre: Classics  Major Themes: Determination and Perseverance, Plant Growth and Development

Summary:  A boy plants a carrot seed and various family members repeatedly tell him it will never grow.  However, the boy continues to care for it.  As time goes by and no growth is visible, the boy continues to water and weed around his seed and his family members continue their naysaying.  The triumphant ending makes this ode to perseverance a classic.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1The Carrot Seed was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 19th, 2015.  This book meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW collection.  Read the Storytime section below for tips on using this picture book in your storytime.


Review:   The Carrot Seed is both a treasured classic and a triumphant tale of perseverance written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Crockett Johnson in 1945.  Everyone believes the carrot seed won’t grow, except the little boy.  The hero’s unwavering faith and courage is strong inspiration. The weaving together of Ruth Krauss’s simple, yet profound words and Crockett Johnson’s minimal, yet sincere illustrations create a motivating story for readers of all ages.  The illustrations of the boy’s purposeful actions and gentle expressions in the face of discouragement portray strength and determination. The boy who planted the carrot seed is a timeless role model.

tumblr_mm8wc4uILl1s5jtnxo1_500Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  Imagine you want to encourage a child to stick with a goal and see it through. Let’s say you could use a little motivation in your own endeavors. Pick up a copy of this classic, read it to your kids and keep it handy. It’s a simple and powerful story to live by.

Significance:  It has been more than 65 years since The Carrot Seed was first published in the U.S. and this little picture book has never been out of print.  This amazing work is one of the greatest picture books of all time.

Storytime:  The book and illustrations are very small. If you’re working in a library storytime or classroom, look for the big book version. Hopefully this classic will be made available as an eBook or app for use on a large screen.

5-17-The-Carrot-Seed-imageAfter reading The Carrot Seed with children, have them draw pictures of their likes, interests and goals.  Keep The Carrot Seed close and re-read it for encouragement over time.

Read-alikes:  Ruth Krauss (1901–1993) is a revered American poet and children’s book author.  She married cartoonist and illustrator Crockett Johnson in 1941 and they collaborated on several children’s books, including The Happy Egg.  Crockett Johnson (1906-1975) is best known for his comic strip Barnaby (1942–1952) and the picture book Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Krauss and Johnson mentored Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are.  Sendak described Krauss as “a giant in the world of children’s literature.”  Author Philip Nel wrote a biography on the influential duo called Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature.


Links:  Author’s Webpage at Harper Collins   The Crockett Johnson Homepage    Scholastic   Bright Hub Teaching Ideas    Amazon

Other Reviews Links:  About Parenting  Goodreads

I reviewed this book because it’s my all time favorite picture book and I want to promote the use of treasured classics in contemporary storytime programming.

3Make Reading More Fun


Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!