3 Lessons from The Carrot Seed

The Carrot Seed

Sophia received a copy of The Carrot Seed for her 4th birthday last week. I’m not up to speed on classic children’s books, but my wife is. Apparently this 1945 piece of literature by Ruth Krauss is the cream of the crop when it comes to children’s picture books. Let’s just say I cannot disagree with that.

It chronicles the tale of a small boy who plants a carrot seed and, despite others’ telling him “it won’t come up”, sees it sprout into a spectacular, award-winning carrot.

It’s short, uncomplicated and undeniably straightforward.

It’s the perfect book for a four-year old!

As I’ve read the book with my girls this past week, three specific and distinct lessons are conveyed:

1. Simplicity. You can read the book in less than 5 minutes. It’s short and to the point; yet, the lessons conveyed are deep and meaningful. Sometimes we try to over-analyze and lead with the mindset of information-overload (“got to make sure all bases are covered!”), but in the end, a simple phrase can resonate and speak to a person in a much more powerful way.

2. Conviction. The little boy’s faith is steadfast. Even with his parents and older brother opposing his ‘mission’, he remained true to his belief that the carrot would one day sprout. How often do we allow our dreams to be discouraged by a naysayer, or forsake our conviction in what is right for the pleasure in the moment?

3. Persistence. When the possibility of doubt crept in, the boy did not give up. He pressed on in the face of adversity by remaining faithful. The book said that he “pulled up the weeds around it every day and sprinkled the ground with water”. What weeds need pulling and ground needs watering in our lives?

Books like The Pursuit of God, Radical, and The Ragamuffin Gospel are great, but sometimes God uses the simplest of of stories to touch our hearts.

::

What is your favorite children’s book? What do you like about it?

43 Comments

  • Arny

    October 21, 2011

    Are you my mother? Dr. sues…

    And Oh the wonderful places you’ll go! Dr. Sues…

    Reply
    • Arny

      October 21, 2011

      Also…my mom used to read a lot of Amelia Badelia too! lol…

      Till I got cool and read comic books! lol…

      Reply
      • Dustin

        October 21, 2011

        Nothing wrong with Comic Books. Did you have a favorite?

        Reply
    • Dustin

      October 21, 2011

      Just read Are You My Mother last night! Loved that as a kid (and now).

      Reply
  • Larry Hehn

    October 21, 2011

    Wow, I had never heard of The Carrot Seed before. It sounds great!

    One of my favorites is Max Lucado’s You Are Special. It always makes my eyes leak.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 21, 2011

      Nice! I didn’t know Lucado wrote a kids book. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  • Moe

    October 21, 2011

    My favorite book was (and to some extent still is) Charlie and the chocolate factory. It’s a great story, but also, it has ethical implications. What do we do with what is given to us. Charlie always obeyed and he ended up winning more than a trip to a chocolate factory, He ended up inheriting the actual factory. Hmm, that sounds very familiar. Obedience, faith, inheritance. I just can’t put my finger on it.

    Oh, one more thing. I am convinced that every art (music, movie, photography, literature, paintings, etc) have a bit of the Gospel message. The arts are the way for our souls to speak, and we all have eternity deep inside our souls.

    Brains!!!

    Reply
    • Arny

      October 21, 2011

      “Oh, one more thing. I am convinced that every art (music, movie, photography, literature, paintings, etc) have a bit of the Gospel message. The arts are the way for our souls to speak, and we all have eternity deep inside our souls.”

      and our soul seeks these things OUT in the arts…with out even knowing!…just gotta tap in…lol…

      it’s what I do! lol..

      Reply
      • Moe

        October 21, 2011

        Oh yeah! You get me. You are an artist and you so understand!

        Reply
      • Dustin

        October 21, 2011

        Arny the Artist. New stagename. Take it & run with it. You’re welcome.

        (btw, http://www.arnytheartist.com is available)

        Reply
        • Arny

          October 22, 2011

          Wow….that does have a nice ring to it!

          Reply
    • Dustin

      October 21, 2011

      Great comment. Willy Wonka is classic. Actually…. I was thinking of it just this week b/c I’m working on a post about a poem that Mr Wonka references in the movie. :)

      Classic > Remake
      (every day of the week)

      Oh, Brains. LOL!

      Reply
      • Moe

        October 21, 2011

        Classics are always better than remakes. Everybody knows that!

        Reply
      • Keri

        October 21, 2011

        Sorry boys, that movie totally freaks me out. Me no likey!

        Reply
    • Ryan Tate

      October 21, 2011

      So true Moe. Every story is rooted in the greatest Story of all time. That’s why people love movies and stories so much. They are compelling and captivating – just like the gospel.

      Reply
  • Ben Reed

    October 21, 2011

    My favorite growing up was “Where the Wild Things Are.” I loved it.

    Reply
  • Jason Vana

    October 21, 2011

    I was a huge Hardy Boys fan. In fact, my family still has some of the books at their house. My bro and I would read them (or have them read to us) almost every night.

    Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    October 21, 2011

    I LOVE “Where the Red Fern Grows” about a boy and his two hunting pups. Great story – very sad at the end though.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 21, 2011

      I think I shed a few tears when I was younger as I read that book. :)

      Reply
  • Ryan Tate

    October 21, 2011

    My favorite children’s book is the Jesus Storybook Bible – I know it’s a technically a bible, but it rocks! It tells the narratives perfectly and weaves the thread of Jesus and his rescue from Adam and Eve, through David and Goliath, all the way to the cross and the re-creation. I think I like it more than my 4 year old.

    Reply
    • Moe

      October 21, 2011

      Is this a #jesusjuke? LOL

      Reply
  • bill (cycleguy)

    October 21, 2011

    Been a long time since I read any children’s books so I will have to say “any my grandson likes at the moment.” :) Sorry haven’t commented Dustin. Was at theSticks for the week and came back to over 125 posts. Hope you are doing well and feeling refreshed.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 24, 2011

      Thanks, Bill. Glad you had a good time at the conference!

      Reply
  • Keri

    October 21, 2011

    I loooooove good children’s literature. I have never heard of this one. Right now, the boys and I absolutely love anything by Mo Willems. They’re mostly stories about friendship and what it means to be a friend. If you haven’t read these to your girls, I promise you will love them. I find myself pulling Willems off the shelf as often as I can. Our fav: Pigs Make Me Sneeze.

    http://www.amazon.com/Pigs-Make-Sneeze-Elephant-Piggie/dp/1423114116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319231866&sr=8-1

    I’m certainly guilty of over analyzing, especially with regard to how I live out my faith. If I’m led by the Holy Spirit, I don’t need to worry about how I “do” it, if I’m doing it right, if I say the right things, if I’ve done enough.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 24, 2011

      Thanks for the suggestion/recommendation! We are always on the lookout for good ones!

      Reply
  • Ally Garner

    October 21, 2011

    My Mom still has our copy of The Carrot Seed! I vividly remember reading this book with my Dad when I was little. I’m pretty sure this book is responsible for me believing in Santa until age 11. That and maybe Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing provided a little inspiration as well. And Larry is right – Max Lucado’s You Are Special is a wonderful book. It’s typically my go-to gift for friends that have babies.

    Reply
  • ThatGuyKC

    October 21, 2011

    I’m often surprised by the lessons I learn while reading to the kids at night. Might have to add this to our ever-growing library. My son’s bookshelf is literally sagging.

    One of my favorite phrases goes something like: “in an economy of words is great wisdom”.

    My favorite book to read the kids is “There is a Monster at the End of this Book” because it deals with resisting fear and is just plain fun.

    Have a great weekend!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 24, 2011

      Thanks KC, had a good weekend with the kids. Hope you did also!

      Reply
  • chris vonada

    October 22, 2011

    The Carrot Seed is a new one to me, will have to check it out! My grandson is 2 and we read Dr. Suess’ The Foot Book all the time (I’m going to say it’s HIS favorite :) ). We do a really goofy version of this, I should make a video but I’m afraid it’s way too goofy!!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 24, 2011

      Ha, you should video it and send the link. Now THAT would be funny!

      Reply
  • kristinherdy

    October 24, 2011

    I love Little Quack — my girls like to read along and everytime the mama duck says “You can do it, I know you can!” my girls yell it out as an affirmation.

    I’m starting to read the classics to them. Little Women, Heidi, etc. but Mia just picked out four kid-level biographies, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman and Amelia Earhart and is loving those.

    Reply
  • tom

    October 24, 2011

    Simple truths and faith. Gotta make sure we don’t get to distracted to please the naysayers that we don’t take intentional time to weed and water…great simple wisdom. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Jon

    October 24, 2011

    Gosh….man it’s been so long, but I used to love the Bernstain Bears, the Hardy Boys, Cam Jansen and her photographic memory.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      October 25, 2011

      Thing is… my daughters still like the berenstain bears! :)

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    October 24, 2011

    To Kill a Mockingbird really isn’t a children’s book, but it is my favorite and I first read it when I was in the 7th grade. Amazing story.

    Reply
  • jenn

    October 25, 2011

    I’m going to have to check out that book. I love kid’s books! My current favorite is Harold and the Purple Crayon. I’m not sure what the moral of that story is, but it’s very cute.

    I also found a new one yesterday. It’s Tom the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. It comes with a cd and it’s so cute! It’s about a cat that is walking around singing “I Love My White Shoes” and then steps in a pile of strawberries, but instead of crying starts singing “I love my red shoes”… and the story goes on from there. I really liked it. I’ll bet your girls would too. I’m going to get it for Shiloh.

    Reply
  • Dan Black

    October 26, 2011

    I loved the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham book. Great thoughts and perspective.

    Reply

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