Plants Can't Sit Still

Rebecca E. Hirsch (Author) Mia Posada (Illustrator)


Do plants really move? Absolutely You might be surprised by all ways plants can move. Plants might not pick up their roots and walk away, but they definitely don't sit still Discover the many ways plants (and their seeds) move. Whether it's a sunflower, a Venus flytrap, or an exotic plant like an exploding cucumber, this fascinating picture book shows just how excitingly active plants really are.

Product Details

$19.99  $18.39
Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
August 01, 2016
10.95 X 0.4 X 9.25 inches | 0.85 pounds
Library Binding

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About the Author

Rebecca E. Hirsch, PhD, is the author of numerous books about science, nature, and geography for children. She lives with her husband and three children in State College, Pennsylvania. You can visit her online at

Mia Posada grew up in Minneapolis, then studied art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she lived until 2007 when she moved back to Minneapolis with her husband and children. Mia has written and illustrated five books: Dandelions: Stars in the Grass, Ladybugs: Red, Fiery and Bright, Robins: Songbirds of Spring, Guess What is Growing Inside This Egg, and Who Was Here?: Discovering Wild Animal Tracks. She also illustrated Dazzling Dragonflies by Linda Glaser.


"In comparison to animals, plants seem rooted in one place, but that doesn't mean they're not in motion. Underground, their roots slither along, searching for water and sometimes sending up new shoots. Seedlings push through the soil, unfurl their leaves, and grow toward the sun. Some leaves shrink when they sense vibrations, while others snap shut to catch a fly. Seeds can be long-distance travelers, from small, light ones that whirl and glide through the air to a large one that floats across oceans. With a doctorate in biology, Hirsch understands her subject, but equally important is her ability to communicate with well-chosen words that make the ideas fun and memorable for children. While some may be content with the main text alone, others will be fascinated by appended descriptions of a squirting cucumber shooting its seeds or the raspberry seed riding through a bear's digestive system. Posada's impressive artwork, created with cut-paper collage and watercolors, illustrates the ideas clearly while creating varied, often lovely effects with colors and textures. Back matter fully supports the picture-book text with additional information on each of the plants featured, but not named, in the main section. A new way to see the plants around us."--starred, Booklist


"Focusing on an aspect of plant life that not many consider, this title examines the ways in which plants move: sunflowers turning toward the sun, a snapping Venus flytrap, and seeds hitching a ride downriver. Hirsch uses simple verbs (e.g., wiggle, reach, unfold) to explore a characteristic or trait of plants (specifically their need to seek out 'water, sunshine, and room to grow'), leading up to the refrain 'plants can't sit still.' Each verb is given a different color from the main text, adding the benefit of text awareness and vocabulary to the title. Illustrator Posada artfully uses cut-paper collage and watercolor to depict, for instance, roots searching underground for water, flowers growing upward on a trellis, winged seeds gliding in the air, and tulips closing up at night. Back matter identifies and provides further information on the flora found throughout. VERDICT: The bright illustrations and the simple but moving text make this a solid addition to any collection looking to inspire interest in the natural world."--School Library Journal


"'Plants don't have feet or fins or wings, yet they can move in many ways. / Look closely and you'll discover that plants can't sit still.' These words dance across two pages loaded with images of several kinds of plants in different stages of their lives: seeds, vines, flowers, fruits. Colorful, exuberant illustrations work impressively with the text to prove that plants--in every stage--move in order to find and acquire uniform needs: 'water, sunshine, and room to grow.' Throughout, readers are treated to a plethora of words more often used for fauna than flora, such as 'wiggle' and 'squirm.' Nighttime images show bean leaves 'nodding' and tulip flowers 'folding, ' while moon flowers 'wake with the stars.' One sentence is momentarily startling to adults with fixed definitions: 'A seed is a plant built for travel.' However, the pages that follow easily support that statement, as different kinds of seeds depart from parent plants, travel, and grow into seedlings. The resources at the end of the book are as well-planned and carefully executed as the rest, offering information--including names and descriptions of every plant in the book--that expands the interest level of the text from preschool into early elementary. Excellent collaboration produced a winner: graceful, informative, and entertaining."--starred, Kirkus Reviews