Plant Secrets written by Emily Goodman and illustrated by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes falls into the category of educational picture books. The life cycle of plants is demonstrated with the intrigue of secrets. One lyrical key phrase unites the different plant stages along with a thoughtful question. The natural flow of the prose has a soothing rhythm packed with an educational punch. The question serves to move the story along and adds a gentle but encouraging challenge.
The illustrations are artistically arranged on the pages and are a balance of color and beauty. While on some of the pages, it might have been nice to have labels this would have been very distracting.
From the pictures, parents may opt to point out and identify most of the different plants, seeds, or trees to their children. However, this book offers a great opportunity to encourage children to seek out answers. Young children can continue to discover and research different plants using other books, or on the Internet or even in their own backyards and neighborhoods. Beginning with the detailed illustrations in this book, children can compare and identify and investigate their world.
What is probably the best part about this book is the fact that because it is about a life cycle, it travels full circle in the telling of the story. This picture book debut for Emily Goodman will spark an interest in plants and horticulture for many children. It can be used by a parent as an enjoyable story about the plant world or by a teacher as a lead-in topical picture book to plant life cycles.
This educational nonfiction picture book has captured the elements of what makes a good story good and combined it with a topic many children might not otherwise start to explore until a later age. Plant Secrets is highly recommended.