Also by this author: The Quiet/Crazy Easter Day
Published by B&H Kids on April 6, 2021
Buy on Amazon
“When I didn’t think I was growing at all, t
he Master was strengthening me to grow tall.
In this rhyming story, a young bamboo seed loves his time floating through the air, on his way to his new life . . . until he slams to the ground and finds himself stuck in the soil for a long, long time. He pouts and grumbles as the other seeds grow and become strong plants. When the bamboo sprout finally starts to stretch toward the sky, a panda arrives to nibble his stalks and dash his hopes once again.
But the wise moon offers words of comfort, assuring the bamboo sprout that the Master is at work in his life, and one day the little sprout will become part of all the wonderful things he saw below on his first journey . . . more than he could ever imagine.
Finding good children’s books is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are so many children’s books published. Most of them aren’t bad. But, in my experience, most of them aren’t good either. Children’s books are often perfectly mediocre. They’re fine, but there’s nothing memorable or unique about them. That’s never the case with a Jill Roman Lord book.
You’re More Than A Sprout tells the tale of a bamboo seed frustrated that it takes so long to grow, but discovers that God has use for it in many ways. With beautiful illustrations and captivating, sing-song lyrics, Jill Roman Lord (and illustrator Sarah Demonteverde) weave a story perfect for reminding young ones that God is preparing them to do amazing things in His service.
Did you know that bamboo shoots take years to grow? Or that a bamboo plant only flowers and produces seeds once every 30 to 120 years? I didn’t. At least not until I read this book. Lord uses that as a metaphor to teach children (and, let’s admit it, adults) to wait on the Lord and to work where he’s put us. It’s a perfect blend of interesting science facts and spiritual application. Proverbs says we can learn from the ant; Jill says we can learn from bamboo!
At first, the sprout learns about waiting to grow. He doesn’t want to spend all this time in the ground in preparation. Then, once he grows, he becomes used to his high-up view and doesn’t want his sproutlings to be cut down. The moon gently shows the former sprout how it is being used throughout the community—as food and drink, housing and watercraft, musical instruments and toys. The sprout’s existence has transformed the community.
With its AABB rhyme scheme, You’re More Than A Sprout evokes a sort of Seussian whimsy while staying grounded in a true-to-life setting. The word choice is appropriate throughout—easy enough for young readers to get through on their own, yet challenging enough to bring life to the book and maybe add a word or two to a little one’s vocabulary (distinctive and propelled are the two words in the book that come to mind). It was maybe a bit long for my children, but my children are aged 3 and 1—a bit younger than the 4-6 age group I’d recommend this to. My little ones especially liked the pages with the moon and ask me to read those to them specifically. The other day, my one-year-old paged through the book, pointing to various items and calling out their names.
You’re More Than a Sprout is a thoughtful, nuanced, engaging children’s book. Every element of it is crafted with care and an understanding of its intended audience. From the whimsical rhymes to the magnificent message to the colorful illustrations, this is sure to be a favorite in my household for quite some time!