Wednesday, July 7, 2010
A POCKETFUL OF SEEDS
In some of my past blog posts, I've mentioned several children's books about planting seeds: THE CARROT SEED, by Ruth Krauss; MISS RUMPHIUS, by Barbara Cooney; and JOHNNY APPLESEED, by Reeve Lindburgh. The main characters in these books are almost on a kind of "mission", as they are steadfastly committed to scattering and planting seeds in order to better their world.
I am excited to share yet another book about the planting of seeds because in this story, the "mission" of the main characters is of a spiritual nature.
A POCKETFUL OF SEEDS, by Sylvia Leontaritis, is the tale of a boy who has been separated from his family in a war-torn village, and an old monk, "Papouli", from Mt. Athos - who happens to have some seeds, provided him by the Virgin Mary. "All he brought with him was a knapsack, his prayer rope and a pocketful of seeds."
This mystical and poetic story unfolds simply enough as the monk befriends the now homeless boy and they travel together planting the seeds; but if you realize that the seeds are a metaphor for monasteries and the "fruit" they bear, it takes on a much deeper tone and meaning. (This metaphor is hinted at by small sketches of monasteries that appear almost hidden in the tranquil illustrations, done by a Russian artist at Talanton Press).
Young children ages 4 and up and their parents will enjoy this "spiritual folktale" of faith and perseverance through prayer. Information about where this book is available is on Sylvia's website: http://www.sylvialeontaritis.com/. (click on "Books")