School Library Journal - Seed Man
School Library Journal (Jul 2018)
Seed Man, a Santa–type character but without the portly build, plants toy-producing trees with the help of vibrant, cherubic fairies. These fairies deliver the gifts to sleeping recipients of all ages. Seed Man, however, fades into the background as the story turns to focus on an elderly gentleman, saddened by the loss of a woman and child. One night the fairies deliver to him a puppy reminiscent of Tad Hill’s lovable Rocket, but more energetic and mischievous. Suddenly, the man has a reason to nurture another creature and pulls back the veil of his grief. Shortly thereafter, Seed Man determines that he is ready to pass the torch and his successor is right in front of him. The subtle climax feels honest and is a perfect example of how the arc of a story needn’t give one whiplash. Ikegami’s style, soft yet luscious watercolor and ink work, gives a dreamlike quality to the spare story. Each word is carefully selected and meaningful, with a hint of humor. There is no fat to trim here. She deftly transitions between spreads with a great deal of white space and others with sky blue, steely gray, and mauve backgrounds. Punches of color appear throughout in the fairies’ clothing, in the toys and in nature. Seed Man has all of the appeal to win the heart of preschoolers who are willing to look closely. VERDICT A quiet, magical tale that sparks the imagination.