Picture Books to Read Together: The Carrot Seed

'The Carrot Seed' is a picture book written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Crockett Johnson. Originally published in 1945, the short book provides opportunities to both engage your child while you read and interact after the story.

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About the Story

The Carrot Seed begins with a little boy planting a seed in the ground. His mother, father and big brother visit him in succession to tell him that the seed won't grow. Yet the boy patiently and carefully tends to the seed.

As time passes, he pulls up weeds and waters the ground daily. Still, no plant grows. His family returns to tell him that nothing will come up. The boy, however, is persistent. He stands over the ground quietly watching. He continues to water the ground without wavering.

Finally, a huge carrot grows. The carrot is as large as the boy. After pulling it from the ground, the boy tows it away in a wheelbarrow. By the end of the story, his patience and optimism are rewarded.

the carrot seed ruth krauss crockett johnson reading aloud

Ideal for Reading Aloud

The Carrot Seed is a terrific booking for reading aloud with your child. There is inherent suspense and drama in the story. While it's a very simple tale, your child will likely be intently watching the ground in each picture for a sign of a sprouting carrot.

For young readers, The Carrot Seed provides good practice. Most of the words are appropriate for the earliest readers, though a handful may require your assistance. Also, the story is short enough to not overwhelm children who are just beginning to read.

Engaging Your Child

In addition to having your child practice reading with The Carrot Seed, you can use the story as a jumping off point for learning about how plants grow. Have your child plant seeds and tend to them. You can do this indoors in a small pot or even a cup. If you have a garden, your child can use a small section for his or her own seeds.

Just as the child in the story learns, your child will understand the patience and care required for seeds to grow. The story compounds this lesson of patience with one of hope. While your child may begin to feel that his or her seeds are never going to grow, don't allow the pessimism shown by the family in the story to develop. The Carrot Seed can inspire a sentiment of persistence and optimism that will reward your child throughout life.

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