I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree – A Poem for Every Day of the Year

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       October 16, 2018


Author  Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

Distributor:      Nosy Crow
ISBN:                 9780857637703
Publisher:         Nosy Crow
Release Date:   September 2018  

Website:    https://nosycrow.com 

Poetry; beautiful, rich, descriptive, enjoyable, funny, quirky poetry, has been gathered lovingly together to form I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree, an anthology designed to appeal to the hearts of all children and their parents, in this colourful and inspiring collection of works that many will remember from their childhoods and other pieces which will once again enchant a new generation of young readers.

A lovely introduction from Kate Wilson offers an insight to the world of poetry through young child’s eye when she, at the age of seven discovered poetry for the first time. As a birthday present she was given a fat, small book crammed full of 100 poems, the pages were all black and white with no illustrations.

She treasured this book pouring over the words, reading them without thought as to their origins, their metre or their age, their context or otherwise. In doing so, and as she grew older, she developed a love of the language in all its many aspects that has led to the compilation of this book, which is an absolute treasure trove of wonderful, glorious words in the form of poetry.

Kate Wilson, the Managing Director of Nosy Crow, approached Fiona Waters to select the 366 poems, one for each day of the years and one for leap year, and Frann Preston- Gannon to create a rich and colourful platform on which to present the poems; poetry to be shared, read alone or with a beloved grandparent or parent at any time of the day or before going to sleep at night.

The pages are rich in colour with the collection broken up into months of the year. As this work was created in the Northern Hemisphere the month of January represent winter with the poems representing the change of the year from December to January. April brings in the storms, as tends to happen also in the Southern hemisphere with ‘lightening flashing and rain coming dashing’. This Northern/Southern Hemisphere divide is also something which can be a discussion aspect with children learning about the many aspects of the world and the changing seasons.

Regardless of this, each day has a special poem associated with it to be treasured, learned and enjoyed such as the beautiful, simple but expressive piece for the 18th July “A clear waterfall: Into the ripples, Fall green pine needles” from Matsuo Basho translated by RH Blythe.

A lovely place to commence is perhaps on your birthday, or the date you are given the book or simply just open the book at will and see what is there to bring joy and beauty into your life.

There is a secret hidden on page 208 to be discovered and a wonderful pondering to be had about catching rainbows on 29th April.

For any child fortunate enough to be gifted with this wonderful book, keep it as a treasure to be enjoyed over the years, as poetry never, ever grows old or outdated, it comes back again as fresh and new as the last time the words were read and enjoyed.

The final pages of the book contain several indexes, the first lists the poets, in alphabet order, the second lists the poems by alphabetic order, with the final one listing the first lines of each of the pieces, another great learning tool to introduce children to finding their way about a book for the pieces they particularly wish to discover.