Synopses & Reviews
Exquisite illustrations balanced with minimal, flowing words, articulate the magic that unfolds from planting a simple seed. As a young boy holds the seed and sows it in the ground, it gradually comes to life throughout the seasons.
Whether a seed, hope, or dream, the acts of love, patience, and nurturing are essential for them to flourish. Perfect for new ventures or celebrating milestones, If You Hold A Seed has a simple message that will appeal across generations.
"Glowing paper dioramas are the heart and soul of MacKay's debut, a quiet, reader-directed contemplation of a seed's slow growth into a tree. In spirit, the story is similar to Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead's And Then It's Spring, though the execution is very much MacKay's own. A small boy first plants the seed, then watches the sapling grow as the seasons pass. With his yellow rubber raincoat and translucent umbrella on a rainy spring day, he looks as though he could have been cut from a vintage greeting card. Patterned and diaphanous papers add depth and texture in winter, the boy gazes out at the snow from inside a cozy room lined with grapevine wallpaper; on a summer night, his tent is lit from within, the tree now big enough to tower over it. Eventually, the boy becomes a man and the sapling a full-fledged tree ('Season by season,/ Year by year.../ That tree will grow SO LARGE/ It will hold you'), cementing MacKay's message about the value of persistence. Ages 3 up. Agent: Kirsten Hall, the Bright Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
ForeWord"The journey of a tree, from seed to canopy, as seen through the eyes of a little boy keeping pace with its growth. The delight here is in the remarkable cut-paper forms that bring each scene to life. Delicate and meditative."
"The journey of a tree, from seed to canopy, as seen through the eyes of a little boy keeping pace with its growth. The delight here is in the remarkable cut-paper forms that bring each scene to life. Delicate and meditative."
Quill & Quire
“This touching, romantic debut, written and illustrated by Elly MacKay, presents a story about the life cycle of birth, growth, and renewal through simple text and atmospheric illustrations…Each page promises many rewards through repeated viewings, and the book seems destined to become a classic.”
U.S. Kids Magazines“I love the passing of the seasons as the boy watches his tree grow—and grows himself! This beautiful story is good for all young children, and it’s a good beginning reader book for Humpty Dumpty fans!”
Charlotte Parent“Simple words and beautiful illustrations teach the timeless lesson to never give up, and that with love and patience, a dream can turn into a wonderful gift.”
“The magic of this debut picture book rests in MacKay’s diorama-style illustrations. Layered cutouts made from a variety of papers, including semitranslucent Yupo paper, allow soft, warm light to filter through and create luminous, sunlit scenes. Just the right antidote for The Giving Tree.”
Ontario Library Association 2013 Best Bets Top 10 Picture Book for Children
Atlanta Parent Magazine Best Books of 2013 list for Preschool to Early Elementary
"Glowing paper dioramas are the heart and soul of MacKay's debut. . . ."
"All of [MacKay's] forethought and preparation has fittingly paid off in a story that is as surprising as it is nakedly inspirational."Jay Bushara, Huffington Post
"The magic of this debut picture book rests in MacKays diorama-style illustrations . . . Just the right antidote for The Giving Tree."
"The book will be suitable for quiet one-on-one sharing or perhaps as a bedtime selection."
School Library Journal
"[MacKay] does show unusual sensitivity to effects of color and light."
"A magical, serendipitous story. . . . "
City Book Review
"This beautiful story is good for all young children. . . ."
Parents and Teachers, U.S. Kids Magazines
"The delight here is in the remarkable cut-paper forms that bring each scene to life. Delicate and meditative."
"Simple words and beautiful illustrations teach the timeless lesson to never give up, and that with love and patience, a dream can turn into a wonderful gift."Charlotte Parent
"Each page promises many rewards through repeated viewings, and the book seems destined to become a classic."
Quill and Quire
Something magical happens when you plant a dream with a seed. With plenty of love and patience, they can blossom into an extraordinary gift.
To be shared with those you love and those with big dreams, this book encourages us to never give up.
About the Author
Elly MacKay lives by Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada with her husband and children. She attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her artwork is sold in several stores including her Etsy.com shop, Theater Clouds. This is her debut childrens book. To learn more about Ellys special illustrative process, visit her online at ellymackay.com and Twitter @theaterclouds.