Review: Seed by Caryl Lewis and illustrated by George Ermos

Written by Caryl Lewis
Illustrated by George Ermos
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Seed is a spectacularously heart-warming, humorous, adventure that swept me into a world where the impossible might just become possible; where hope grows nurtured by kindness; and where nature has the power to fulfil dreams …

Marty has a lot to deal with in his young life:   his dad left home when he was four; his mum is struggling with her mental health, unable to leave the house and hoarding all sorts of clutter in their home and garden; he is a young carer; he is the victim of bullying at school; and, the council are threatening to evict them. 

He does, however, have a wonderful, warm relationship with his Grandad who he visits in his allotment every night after school.  On his birthday, his Grandad gives him an unexpected present:  a seed which may just contain the magic that will change his life.

He plants the seed in his Grandad’s allotment and, together with his new friend Gracie, they watch the seed grow and grow, nourished with wishes and dreams, and when the impossible becomes possible, they begin an incredible, exciting adventure:  an adventure that nurtures trust, acceptance and hope.

This is such a beautifully told story, filled with warmth, humour and the healing power and magic of nature. I loved the bonds between Marty, his Grandad, his Mum and Gracie which were all different, but felt authentic.  I also loved the feeling of community spirit as everyone became so invested in the impossible adventure.

Marty is an incredibly sympathetic character who clearly cares about his mother and has to deal with both the hope and disappointment as his mother tries so hard to manage her disorder. He has a wonderful relationship with his Grandad who is such a brilliant character: madcap, full of life and hope – and wacky inventions. Marty also forms a close friendship with Gracie who has a cochlear implant; he encourages her to follow her dream to be a dancer. Both children have to deal with loneliness and parental ‘absence’ and both learn the importance of expressing their feelings and following their dreams.

Both the cover illustration and the internal illustrations are stunning.  The cover illustration depicts the magic, wonder and hope engendered in the story perfectly.  The grayscale internal illustrations are stunning and complement the story beautifully from the joy of Gracie’s dancing to the warmth of the relationship between Grandad and Marty and the magical nature of the adventure.

This is a gorgeously uplifting story:  a story of friendship, family, hopes and dreams wrapped up in a larger-than-life adventure imbued with the magic of nature … perfect for young nature-lovers and adventurers of 9+. 

Thank you to Antonia Wilkinson and Macmillan Children’s Books for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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