The Carrot Seed
is a wonderful children's book (c) 1945 by Ruth Krauss
, with similarly wonderful
illustrations by Crockett Johnson
. You can see the cover of the book
Whether or not it's arguable that Ruth Krauss really started the "children's books as good prose" scene, her words flow nicely. It is still in print 57 years later; the below text is reproduced from the modern edition:
A little boy planted a carrot seed.
His mother said, "I'm afraid it won't come up."
His father said, "I'm afraid it won't come up."
His brother said, "It won't come up."
Every day the little boy pulled up the weeds around the seed and sprinkled the ground with water.
But nothing came up.
And nothing came up.
Everyone kept saying it wouldn't come up.
But he still pulled up the weeds around it every day and sprinkled the ground with water.
A carrot came up
Just as the little boy had known it would.
Maurice Sendak, another children's book author, had this to say about The Carrot Seed:
The granddaddy of all picture books in America, a small revolution of a book that permanently transformed the face of children's book publishing. The Carrot Seed, with not a word or a picture out of place, is dramatic, vivid, precise, concise in every detail. It springs fresh from the real world of children.
Me? It makes me misty every time I read it, thinking about all of the things that we give up on prematurely because of nay-sayers. Or fail to even try.