Title: The Bad Seed
Author: Jory John
Illustrator: Pete Oswald
Published: August 29, 2017
Theme: Identity and Suffering
Character Origin: Food
Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40
Ages: 6-8 | Book Level: 2.0 | Lexile Measure: AD390L
Synopsis: He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy?
This story is about a seed that is known for being rude, misbehaving, and just being plain baaaaad. But he wasn’t always that way. We learn that sometimes bad things can happen and they can make you really upset and maybe even change you a little. But you can choose to be happy again when you’re ready.
Such a great story of identity and who you choose to be. John does a great job dealing with a scary situation and how it can change how you see yourself and how you interact with others. The main character puts on a facade to mask his pain. I believe that kids (and adults) can relate to that.
Oswald’s use of browns, grays, and other drab colors are a reflection of the main character’s emotions. This story could be a really good resource for school counselors or therapists as they tackle how kids act out when something bad happens to them. I can see it being a way to connect with them and for them to understand their feelings.