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Children's Fiction Counting & Numbers

One Watermelon Seed

by (author) Celia Barker Lottridge

illustrated by Karen Patkau

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Mar 2008
Counting & Numbers, Seasons, General
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
1 to 2
Recommended Reading age
3 to 6
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2008
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


On the Toronto Public Library's 10 best books of 2008 list for Children up to 5 years of age

On Resource Link's "Best of 2008" List

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

First published in 1986 and a staple ever since for parents of preschool children and teachers of primary grades, One Watermelon Seed is presented in a new edition with a bold new cover and interior art.
In this deceptively simple counting book, Max and Josephine tend their garden while readers follow along, counting from one to ten as the garden is planted. Then readers can count in groups of tens as the garden is harvested, while they search through the pictures for the many small animals that are hiding throughout. A concise and clever text introduces color and rhythm, and the illustrations are bright and engaging, making this a perfect counting book for children aged four to seven.

About the authors

Celia Barker Lottridge is a storyteller and a multi-award winning author of picture books and novels for children, including The Name of the Tree, Ticket to Curlew, Wings to Fly, and The Little Rooster and the Diamond Button. Formerly a children's librarian and bookseller, Celia was born in Iowa City and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Celia Barker Lottridge's profile page

KAREN PATKAU has been writing and illustrating picture books, with a focus on nature and non-fiction, for more than thirty years. She won the Ezra Jack Keats Memorial Medal for her first book, Don’t Eat Spiders by Robert Heidbreder, and since then her titles have appeared on lists including Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books, Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award finalists, Green Book Festival Award finalists, Ontario Library Association Best Bets and White Ravens selections. Karen has also illustrated Forest: A See to Learn Book. She lives in Toronto.


Karen Patkau's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"One Watermelon Seed offers countless (pun intended!) early learning opportunities and is a valuable resource for all school and public library collections.

Highly Recommended"

-- CM Magazine

"Luxuriant illustrations, a counting lesson that goes beyond 1 to 10, and the fun of hunting for hidden creatures: this new edition of One Watermelon Seed is sure to be a hit with both preschoolers and those who read to them."
-- ForeWord Magazine

"First published in 1986, this new, delicious edition with its brightly coloured digital illustrations belongs in the first rank of books of its genre: the counting book."
-- The Globe and Mail

"The vibrant colors and close-up views of the produce make it look delicious and irresistible. . . This appealing book is great for classroom counting and discussions of seasons."
-- The School Library Journal

"Lottridge's text is musical and brief, while Patkau's illustrations celebrate the abundant colour of a summer garden."
-- The Toronto Star

"As I write this, seeds are beginning to sprout in my own children's vegetable garden and the excitement of my family is palpable. So, too, is the pleasure in this book, which takes the delight of coaxing food out of the earth and matched it with the thrill of sharing a book with a loved one. . . Bright illustrations boost the joy of reading this delightful book."
-- Today's Parent

Librarian Reviews

One Watermelon Seed

One watermelon seed marks the beginning of this bright and colourful counting book, which depicts the planting of ten varieties of fruit and vegetables by two children. Originally published in 1986 by Oxford University Press (Our Choice 1987/1988).

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Karen Patkau

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