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Trellis And The Seed [Hardcover]

Jan Karon , Robert Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 15 2003
In this gently told parable, Jan Karon tells a story of patience, of the special rewards that come from being a little bit different from everyone else, and of the courage to believe in oneself. In a picturesque and secluded garden, a tiny seed sits in thrilled anticipation of its destiny as a powerful vine, twisting and flowering through the white latticework trellis. But how could such a small seed ever thrive and grow into a strong, healthy, grown-up plant? "Don't worry," Mother Earth says. "God has planned something beautiful for you." But time passes, and the little seed doesn't believe it. Beautifully illustrated and filled with faith and love, "The Trellis and the Seed" is Jan Karon at her very best-an inspiration for all ages and an important lesson on God's love for all creatures great and small.

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From Amazon

Subtitled a "Story of Encouragement for All Ages," the Trellis and the Seed tells the story of how "God has planned something beautiful" for even the tiniest, most unassuming little seed.

The tiny seed begins its mysterious journey in the hands of the seemingly omnipotent "Nice Lady," who predicts--much to the seed's disbelief--that it will make a "beautiful vine with sweet-smelling blossoms." Even as the Nice Lady plants the seed, erects an ambitious trellis, waits for rain, adds fertilizer, and performs all her other nurserial oblations, the seed continues to be baffled by its caretaker's faith. ("It was only a seed, and very, very small. How could it ever be a beautiful vine with blossoms?") How indeed? Suffice it to say, God doesn't send a crafty bird to eat the seed in a harrowing third-act changeup.

Jan Karon's story of patience and faith shows the same folksy charm that infuses her Mitford Years series, and her gentle words find a soothing complement in the skilled, muted watercolors of Robert Gantt Steele (of the Her Story series). (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-In this heavy-handed story, a tiny seed faces what seem like insurmountable odds, but slowly grows and eventually reaches its full potential. Although the Nice Lady talks to it of what it will become, it does not believe it will ever be anything but small. Planted in front of a huge trellis that seemed "a million trillion feet high," it can't imagine ever climbing that high. Still, with the help of the rain and a little time, the plant makes it most of the way up before it wearies. Then the Nice Lady comes out, hums a little tune, and applies "something smelly around the roots," and the vine finally makes it to the top of the trellis and produces white flowers that bloom in the moonlight. This sentimental tale will appeal to those who like their allegories neat and straight up. Featuring colorful, flower-bedecked depictions of a country cottage, Steele's static watercolors monotonously reflect the story's action. Watty Piper's straightforward The Little Engine That Could (Platt & Munk, 1930) conveys the same message without the precious language and has a lot more child appeal.
Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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The little seed felt warm in the Nice Lady's hand. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brief, But Warm Burst of Sunshine of A Book Nov. 13 2003
Format:Hardcover
As a fan of Karon's, this is first of this nature of her books for me. What a delight of a quick read, all of five minutes or so. But what a read!
Story of a seed, dry with no hope of becoming anything worthy. But through being set aside, doused in water, but into the deep, dark cold ground, drowned with water, covered with manure, and struggling to reach top of the trellis and finally to produce blossoms, supported by trellis and Nice Woman, it happens.
Knowing the author's faith and numerous Biblical references to plants and bearing blossoms (e.g. Psalm 1 and Mt. 13:18-52, and John 15:1-9), one cannot but sense that this is real parable's meaning here. Although many will derive pleasure from the read and wonderful illustrations, and still others will sense morals of patience, perseverance, support, etc., the strong spiritual implications here are obvious, what with the strong Biblical allusion and Karon's faith evidenced in the Mitford writings.
Blessings on this creativity and beauty communicated so wonderfully for all ages to be encouraged to blossom and bloom where and when the Lord wills.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Tickle or A Kiss? May 2 2003
Format:Hardcover
A book of encouragement for all ages, enchantingly illustrated. God's perfect timing, mixed with grace and peace and the warmth of the earth and the water of the skies, can make us all be better than we ever imagined. A small volume, which I read in its entirety on my lunch hour, still delivers a powerful message.
The Nice Lady, Mamalinda
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  56 reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brief, But Warm Burst of Sunshine of A Book Nov. 13 2003
By rodboomboom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a fan of Karon's, this is first of this nature of her books for me. What a delight of a quick read, all of five minutes or so. But what a read!
Story of a seed, dry with no hope of becoming anything worthy. But through being set aside, doused in water, but into the deep, dark cold ground, drowned with water, covered with manure, and struggling to reach top of the trellis and finally to produce blossoms, supported by trellis and Nice Woman, it happens.
Knowing the author's faith and numerous Biblical references to plants and bearing blossoms (e.g. Psalm 1 and Mt. 13:18-52, and John 15:1-9), one cannot but sense that this is real parable's meaning here. Although many will derive pleasure from the read and wonderful illustrations, and still others will sense morals of patience, perseverance, support, etc., the strong spiritual implications here are obvious, what with the strong Biblical allusion and Karon's faith evidenced in the Mitford writings.
Blessings on this creativity and beauty communicated so wonderfully for all ages to be encouraged to blossom and bloom where and when the Lord wills.
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tickle or A Kiss? May 2 2003
By Mamalinde - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A book of encouragement for all ages, enchantingly illustrated. God's perfect timing, mixed with grace and peace and the warmth of the earth and the water of the skies, can make us all be better than we ever imagined. A small volume, which I read in its entirety on my lunch hour, still delivers a powerful message.
The Nice Lady, Mamalinda
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Little Seed That Couldn't April 11 2006
By Robert A. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jan Karon has written an inspirational tale "of Encouragement for all Ages". Unlike the little engine that could, the reader is introduced to a seed that was given to a "Nice Lady" who intends to plant it next Spring and watch it grow into a tall blossoming vine. The seed finds all of this preposterous.

The little seed cannot believe the Nice Lady when she says the seed will grow into a beautiful blossoming vine. While sitting in a jar during winter, the seed ponders the Nice Lady's faith in the seed to become something great and beautiful. Spring arrives, and the seed is soaked overnight in water before encountering the cold earth. When it eventually sprouts, the seed spies the giant trellis that the Nice Lady expects it to climb. Is she bonkers?!! How can a tiny sprouted seed climb an Empire State Building of a trellis? The reader follows the growing plant through summer while learning that God has a plan whether we see it or not. The little seed that couldn't finally does become a beautiful blossoming vine. The Nice Lady never doubted that.

This 30-page tale is wonderfully told; not too wordy and filled with encouragement that would touch young and old alike. The beautiful watercolors reinforce the story's message of encouragement. My ten year old daughter gave it a thumbs up! And her 50 year old dad agrees.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soothing, Warm Story June 21 2005
By ReadingTub Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A young seed hears a gardener talk about the wonderful flower he'll grow to be. Yet, as she describes each phase, he thinks about what he is, and doubts he could be much more. This is a parable about love, faith and beauty. We were surprised by our toddler's reaction. We didn't think she'd have patience for the story (more words than your average book for 2 to 4 year old), but s/he did. It is a soothing, warm story that we liked reading as much as s/he did. The pastoral illustrations complement the story beautifully. The narrative describes a plant's cycle (from seed to flower) in terms simple enough for a young reader to understand. The book is as billed: a book for all ages. On the surface this is the story of how a flower grows. Scratch a little deeper, and there are lessons about doubt, faith, love, patience and beauty.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for encouragement! Aug. 10 2006
By csm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this book for a toddler and he just loves it! It talks about how a tiny seed who really doesn't think he's going to amount to much, grows into this beautiful plant. He's been told that he will flower but doesn't for awhile - he's just green. Then, when the moon comes out, he blooms with such a magnificent scent that it wakes the lady that planted him. Such a wonderful book to read to anyone, not just little folks. Highly recommend!
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