The Bad Seed – Picture Book Review

By Jory John
Illustrated by: Pete Oswald
Published on: May 8, 2018

I’m not sure I should admit this, but I’ve wanted to read this picture book for a while. Every time I would see it I would notice how interesting the book looked. So, I finally gave in and downloaded it. Thank goodness I was right – this was a very interesting book to read.


This is a book about a bad seedA baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know?

He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy?

With Jory John’s charming and endearing text and bold expressive illustrations by Pete Oswald, here is The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for readers young and old, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.


I loved just about every aspect of the book. How could I not? In the story we have a seed who is a very very bad seed. The other seeds all know this – some are scared of him and some just talk about him behind his seed back. They all have a point because he really does do some bad things. But then our ‘bad’ seed decides he wants to try and be good. So, now our seed will still forget to be a good seed at times and will show up late or talk in movies, but he also now likes to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and do other good seed things.

Simply put, The Bad Seed is just an awesome picture book. First, it has clever humor that preschoolers, new readers, and adults will all enjoy. But it also has very interesting illustrations to look at, which I believe are watercolor, and together the illustrations and story are displayed on the pages in a manner that helps make the story even more interesting to read and look at. An example of this are the pages that show all the extreme lengths of ‘bad’ that this sunflower seed goes to.

The message is fairly simple: It’s never to late to try and make a change in your life. The only very small issue I did have with this book is it doesn’t really explain why he wants to no longer be good. It does go into some past trauma, which may help explain why he acts the way he does. But, the bridge between the past and why he decides to change is missing.

Rating: 4.5

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