PPBF: Max's Magic Seeds

Today's PPBF struck a chord with me because it's about planting seeds. And since the National School Counseling Week theme this week has been Building Magical Futures, I thought this seed story the 
perfect complement.

Title: Max's Magic Seeds
Author: Geraldine Elschner
Illustrator: Jean-Pierre Corderoch
Publisher: Minedition
Date:  June 21, 2007
Suitable for ages: K through 3rd grade
Themes: kindness, happiness, nature
Brief synopsis:  Max's uncle Bill, a renown botanist, gives him a bag of seeds to scatter beauty on his route to school and beyond, then urges him to keep it a secret. As the flowers grew, people seemed happier, more cheerful. They went out more and took walks to enjoy the foliage. When the Mayor of the town announces that the town had won the Power of Flowers contest, how did they figure out that Max was their flower magician?

Opening Page:  My name is Max, and today is my birthday. That's me sitting by the window, waiting. All the guests have arrived, except one is still missing - my favorite uncle, Uncle Bill. "He's never on time!" complained Aunt Betty. "Yeah, maybe so," I said. "But he always shows up." She knew I was right ... "And he brings the funniest gifts of anybody!" I added.


Read a Kid Review {here} and a review at Favorable Food {here}.

Play the song Today I'm Gonna Try To Change The World by Canadian artist Johnny Reid. Ask kids how Max's seeds changed his world. Find out what they could do to change their world for the better!

Show students the front inside cover and ask them to describe Max's town. Mine said things like damp, dull, sad, boring, empty, unhappy, not welcoming, uncolorful, depressing, closed. Ask them to predict what might happen to this town in a story called Max's Magic Seeds. Do they think that seeds can really be magic? Why or why not?

Then read the story aloud.

Once the story is over and you arrive inside the back cover, show students what happened because of Max. Ask them to compare and contrast the two pictures with a double bubble graphic organizer. What do think they that the flowers might represent? Mine answered that inquiry with words like peace, happiness, joy, love, character, kindness, cheerfulness, attitude, respect, a counselor. That was perfect, because my final question for them was, 
"How are counselors like magic?"

They were pretty clear that counselors, like magic, could help fix feelings and friendship, prevent problems and promote peace-making, foster desired behaviors and fill buckets. It was fun to listen to them making that text-to-self connection about the role school counselors play in their lives. Like Max's seeds, one of them explained, we add color to their school. What a fun job that is, to beautify the world, child by child, seed by seed.

Hold a Power of Flowers essay & drawing contest to see what your students might say about the power of flowers to make a difference. Get some seeds and start planting. Find out which areas of your campus or community students think need beautifying. Write persuasive letters and get the permission you need.

Just like the necklace that I received from my school family says, I'm so blessed to work as a school counselor. 
Thank you for celebrating with my colleagues and me this week!

Want to add more fun titles to your list? 
Head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill's blog next.


  1. What a lovely book and those ills are beautiful. Flowers make everyone feel better.

  2. With Magic counselors fix feelings and fill buckets. Good representation, Barbara. This seems like the best book to end the week for counselors. Thanks for introducing this book to us. I can't wait to read it. I also like your activities. :)

  3. Such a beautiful choice to go with National School Counseling Week. I loved your suggestions in how to use the book with children. I love that Max receives a gift that he in turn gifts to his community with beauty and hope. Will check this one out.

  4. I am a gardener (or a rabbit feeder-depending on how the fence does!) and will be looking for this book. The power of seeds is amazing.

  5. I love the cover of this book! And what a great message and idea! I'm ready to go plant some seeds! Come on sun and warmth!

  6. I am definitely going to check this book out. It sounds lovely. Thanks for the review.

  7. Never on time, but always shows up! Sounds like a book I want to read!

  8. I love the cover - it makes me feel warm and sunny and like pulling out all my flower seeds. I have lots of "extra" flower seeds - maybe I'll scatter them around... guerrilla beautification?

  9. I love the illustrations, Barbara. And my mom was a school social worker over fifty years ago. I think in those days, it was akin to a counsellor. I sure do appreciate our family counsellor! Good choice.

  10. That is a beautiful book! I am fascinated by your Knit One Save One project. Soon we will be learning about Africa and I am thinking of adding a service project. Thank you for sharing. Maria

  11. I've always believed in the power of flowers. This looks like a wonderful book, Barbara. Will add it to my list. Thanks for sharing.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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