How Does a Seed Sprout?: And Other Questions About Plants

Nonfiction superstar author Melissa Stewart has a new book out, How Does a Seed Sprout?: And Other Questions About Plants (Good Question!), illustrated by Carol Schwartz.

Written in a lively question-and-answer format, this book covers basic questions, such as the life cycle of plants, as well as more complex questions, such as why do leaves come in different shapes.

The illustrations are a mix of lovely watercolors by Carol Schwartz and high-quality color photographs.

How does a seed sprout? If the conditions are right, the root develops first and then the shoot grows upwards. This video shows the germination of radish seeds, which germinate relatively quickly. (Note: the music is loud and lively, so you might want to adjust your speakers.)


Can you see the root hairs spreading out from the main root? Cool!

Towards the right are three light-colored objects that look like seeds, but they do not germinate. Ask your children why the seeds might not have grown like the others. Perhaps the conditions were not quite right for those particular seeds to grow. Seeds must have the right moisture (not too much and not too little), the right temperature and they most be free of diseases. It is also possible that those particular seeds were just not ready. Some seeds need a resting period before they can grow, or must have the seed coat worn down or softened before they can start the germination process. It is possible they will never grow. As Stewart emphasizes, not all seeds grow into plants.

How Does a Seed Sprout? is a great introduction to the wonderful world of plants. It would be useful as a science or gardening reference, as well as for units on plants or life cycles. Pick up a copy and be inspired to explore the world of plants!

Looking for more books about plants or seeds? Try our list of children’s books about seeds and our list of Gardening/plant science books for kids.


You also might want to try our Gardening/science for Kids Pinterest board.

Age Range: 7 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Series: Good Question!
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1454906715
ISBN-13: 978-1454906711


Disclosures:  This book was won in a contest. I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

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