MaiStoryBook Library: The Bad Seed + Giant Sunflower Handprint Craft

Introducing the newly released, fall-flower-seed themed children’s book featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Bad Seed” by Jory John and  Pete Oswald

Book Synopsis and Review

This is a story about a baaaaaaaaaad seed. Even the other seeds gossip ~ *That seed is SO bad.* So, how bad is he? Well, if you really want to know: he glares and stares at people, doesn’t wash his hands OR feet, never tells the punch line to jokes *gasp*, and that’s not even the half of it! He has bad manners, a bad attitude, and makes bad choices. However, bad seed wasn’t always bad. And one day, bad seed changes his mind and decides ~ he’s tired of being angry and bad ~ he wants to be *happy.* But as he soon realizes, It’s hard to be good when you’ve been bad for so long. Can this clever little seed find the will power to change his ways for the good ~ and find happiness after all?

Author Jory John brings to life a character that is sure to have kids gasping in a *horrified delight* ~ That seed really is SO bad~ However, interlaced throughout the humorous series of bad choices, is a tale of understanding, self-worth, acceptance, and the transformative power of will and support to become the best self you can be. Pete Oswald’s striking illustrations exaggerate the emotive consequences of making bad and good choices, highlighting for children that their actions can affect the people around them. A read aloud book that is sure to evoke peals of laughter, this story is also perfect for sparking conversation about empathy , the influences of life experiences, and the possibility of positive change.

Vocabulary List

  • Mumble (p.4) say quietly
  • Pointless (p.8) hopeless
  • Humble (p.11) kind, doesn’t brag a lot
  • Drooped (p.14) bend over downward
  • Drifted (p.26) wandering around with nowhere to go

Themes/Main Ideas

  • Positive change: With enough determination and support, everyone has the chance to change for the better.
  • Actions have consequences: What happens to us during *life experiences* can influence our behaviors and actions. However, our actions have consequences: bad choices can make our friends upset or sad, while good choices can make our friends happy.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading Read Aloud of “The Bad Seed” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Giant Sunflower Handprint Craft

* Sunflowers* ~ Giant yellow balls of brightness and beauty. My favorite fall flowers, these radiant delights fill me with joy with even  just a glimpse of their bright yellow petals and golden fall color. My dream ~ get lost wandering through a field of giant sunflowers, surrounded by towering stalks of golden light ~ But in the meantime, while I await for that day of sunflower immersion, what better way to celebrate these fall flowers than to create my very own Giant Sunflower Handprint Craft! A sunflower with my handprints for the petals *It’s like I’m becoming part sunflower* The perfect craft for this sunflower seed read aloud, whip out those sunglasses, and enjoy an afternoon in the autumn sun crafting bright yellow blossoms glowing with the handprint’s of your child.


  • paper towel roll
  • 2 pieces of green construction paper
  • 1 piece of  brown construction paper
  • Several pieces of yellow construction paper *varies depending on handprint size*
  • mini paper plate
  • green pipe cleaners
  • sunflower seeds
  • glue
  • scissors
  • tape


  • Use the mini paper plate to trace a circle on the brown construction paper.
  • Cut out the brown circle and glue it to the bottom of the plate.
    • We will glue on the seeds later to prevent them from falling off when attaching the various parts.

  • Next, trace your child’s handprints onto the yellow paper and cut them out.
    • Depending on your child’s hand size, number of handprints will vary. I have small hands and used five, so I’d approximate between 7-9 handprints.
  • Tape them to the other side of the brown paper plate.
    • Hint: make sure to tape along the edges of the plate so that the petals stay erect and don’t droop behind the brown center.

  • For the stem: wrap the green construction paper vertically around the paper towel roll and tape into place.
  • For the leaves: Bend the 2 pipe cleaners into leaf shape and tape behind the stem.
  • Tape the green stem to the back of the paper plate until secure.

  • Final Step: The Seeds!
    • Help your child drizzle glue in the brown center of the sunflower.
    • Give them a handful of seeds to stick onto the glue in the brown center *Opportunity to discuss how seeds come from the center of the flower ~ this is where Bad Seed from the story was born
    • Wait for the craft to dry before handling to prevent seeds from falling

Enjoy Your Giant Sunflower Handprint Craft!

  • Re-read the story with your own Giant Sunflower reading buddy.
  • Prop your sunflower in a vase to bring brightness and cheer to your home.
  •  Share your sunflower with a family member or friend to bring them happiness.
  • Visit your local gardening store to find actual sunflower seeds to plant as a further reading extension.

*~Overall, have some FALL FLOWER FUN, creating these handprint, bright blossoms. Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own Giant Sunflower Handprint Crafts! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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