Tom the Tomato Plant

by Dave Carroll, Illustrated by Floyd Yamyamin

“Having Dave visit our pre-kindergarten – grade 5 school was one of the best decisions we’ve made this year.  Dave’s sessions for our students were full of great music and stories. His pace and music selections allowed for engaging stories and discussions as well as foot stomping music that made all of our staff and students want to get up and dance. The 30 minute sessions flew by and we would happily invite him back to our school again to help our students reflect on their role as storytellers while also enjoying the power of great music.”

Amy DurantPrincipal, Geary Elementary Community School

“Dave Carroll was our first, large, school wide assembly in almost 3 years and he was a gust of fresh air. His presentation was entertaining, engaging, and motivational. He delivered a message about storytelling, reminding us that we all have a story to tell. He encouraged students to tell their stories and that they can have an impact and influence change. He shared the story behind United Breaks Guitar and Tom the Tomato Plant, providing the perfect mix of talk and song to hold everyone’s attention. As an experienced musician, Dave has a wonderful stage presence and can read the room perfectly. He instinctively knew when to shift to music, playing songs for everyone to enjoy. Thanks Dave for a great show.”

Michelle AshfieldPrincipal, George Street Middle School

“We hired Dave Carroll to present his United Breaks Guitars experience, his Tom The Tomato Plant story and play some live music for our students this year. Every student, from Pre-Primary to Grade 5, was engaged, the message was great, and Dave puts on a fantastic show. No Regrets.  Thanks Dave!”

Karla Wolfe Principal, Waverley Memorial Elementary

“I have been in child care for 30-plus years and cannot recall a single child that did not love books. Tom The Tomato Plant can stand among the classics. There is no better satisfaction in life than holding a child while sharing a special story… one they’ve asked for many times. I just loved the way they would finish the line for me. I hope Dave doesn’t stop at one children’s book.  I got goose bumps reading this one.”

Jan Kennedyretired child care provider

“One of the BEST stories to emerge today that will encourage conversations with your children about love, compassion, caring, and connection is Tom the Tomato Plant written by Dave Carroll. The colourful illustrations and the measured plot provides so many opportunities to discuss all of those things mentioned…”

Paul ToffanelloAuthor, The Popchuck Chronicles & In Blackburn Hamlet

“… the book arrived today, delivered by your awesome dad. We sat down to read it and he never stirred, listening and scanning the pictures. Sometimes when reading longer books, he can lose focus and turn his attention to other things, but not this time. That’s how you know you’ve got a good story. The dish cloth made by your Ma was a very nice touch and I’m thrilled to have a signed copy of the book complete with tomato seeds, no less! All in all, a very well thought out package that we will enjoy for years to come. Thanks so much Dave,  for sharing your many gifts with us. Can’t wait to give the CD a spin!”


After reading Tom the Tomato Plant, when asked what do you think The Giant is in you?:
“It’s love, mom.”

Zane7 years old

“Tom the Tomato is a hit. I really liked Tom the Tomato Plant because it told how important a family is when you are growing up and that getting help when it is needed helps you succeed. The song at the end of the book shows that you can be a giant and important in your family even when you are young. I also liked the pictures and the colourful art work. It is a very interesting book.”

Davidage 9, Toronto

“Our family loves Tom! A book that teaches children about the GIANT in them.”

Patrick O

“Tom the Tomato Plant by Dave Carroll is a heartfelt, gentle exploration of the cycle of life. While death is not explicitly mentioned, the book uses plants to introduce children to the idea of our lives ending at certain points. This beautifully illustrated book shares a tender story of a family lovingly caring for a tomato plant named Tom. We see Tom grow and thrive, and develop a close bond with his family until he eventually “goes to sleep”. This book is a gentle introduction to the concept of death and dying, and Dave Carroll does a lovely job showing that death does not have to be feared or scary. For children, subjects such as loss and death can be difficult to understand and process. Suitable for school-aged children, this book is a valuable resource for caregivers who want to open or continue discussions about these abstract concepts.”

Giselle EllefsenM.Sc. Registered Psychologist Marsh Knickle and Associates

“Great Story, Wonderful Message: Tom the Tomato touches both heart and mind for the young and the ‘older’ – its message is positive, hopeful and very relatable. A book well worth reading, by yourself or together, well worth giving and sharing with others.”

Carl Fraser

“A Story for any age! This story is so hopeful! No matter your age, you can take something positive from the story. As children grow, the messages will continue to resonate and grow, just like Tom! The beautiful illustrations create a wonderful world for Tom to live in. A beautiful gift for any child or young person any time of the year!”

Elizabeth A Houghton

“An incredible children’s book which touches on some very deep and important topics in a very creative and sensitive way. This is a book that I would recommend to any parent regardless of their religious or political beliefs as the approach taken here is not to preach a particular ideology or dogma. In fact I think reading this book with a child would likely lead to a profound and meaning full conversation. Beautifully written by Dave Carroll an amazing artist, signer and songwriter and beautifully illustrated.”

Jeff Winship

“What a great book! Wholesome and captivating from cover to cover. Tom the Tomato Plant is a simply wonderful children’s book that is rich with beautiful illustrations, positive messages and life lessons about compassion, caring and kindness. Best enjoyed in the presence of those you love most.”


“Kids connect with Tom. Without hesitation a bought 8 hard cover copies of Tom the Tomato Plant for the littles in my life. They planted the seeds and read and learned an important message.”

Linda Wilson

“I loved this beautiful book, about compassion, and trusting in your heart to believe that anything is possible. Children need to learn this very simple concept…. every one of us can thrive when given the chance and having someone who believes in us. The illustrations are simply gorgeous, and the story flows with hope and love. I bought my copy as soon as it came out and plan to give some for Christmas, birthdays etc. Spread the tomato seeds of love with Tom!!!”

Patricia O’Connor

“Dave Carroll’s “Tom the Tomato Plant” has woven its way into my heart, leaving a lasting impression that goes beyond the pages of this delightful tale. From the first time I cracked open the book, I found myself immersed in the enchanting world of Tom, the endearing tomato plant with a story that resonates on a personal level.

Dave’s storytelling is like a warm embrace, wrapping readers of all ages in a narrative that is both simple and profound. The language flows effortlessly, making it not just a book for kids but a captivating journey for the young at heart. It’s a story that stirs the soul, reminding us of the magic found in life’s simplest pleasures.

What makes “Tom the Tomato Plant” truly exceptional is its ability to convey essential life lessons in a way that feels personal. Through Tom’s growth and adventures, I found myself reflecting on the virtues of patience, resilience, and the beauty of embracing each moment as a gift. The subtle messages woven into the narrative serve as gentle reminders that linger in the heart. As I turned the pages, I couldn’t help but be drawn into Tom’s world—his triumphs, challenges, and the joy of belonging.

The pacing of the story is perfection, creating an immersive experience that kept me eagerly anticipating each new development. It’s a testament to Dave’s skill in crafting a narrative that is not only entertaining but also deeply meaningful. “Tom the Tomato Plant” is not just a book; it’s a conversation starter. It invites readers to explore themes of resilience, friendship, and the gift of love in a way that feels personal and relatable. It’s the kind of story that leaves a lasting impact on the reader’s perspective. Dave Carroll has created a story that goes beyond the traditional confines of a children’s book.

“Tom The Tomato Plant” is a treasure that me and my grandkids cherish, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking a heartwarming, personal, and enriching reading experience. It’s a solid five-star read that earns a special place on my bookshelf, destined for revisits and shared moments with loved ones. Bravo, Dave, for crafting a story that touches the soul.”

Tim Brodie

“I heard from several people that your message & song have touched them, and that they appreciate your calm, even-keel presentation… On a personal note… I love the story of Tom and your music. You are one-of-a-kind. Continue with spreading your message. You will be on my list for future events…”

Cristina Dee-OngComplete Purchasing Services / GESPRA and QUASEP | VP, Marketing & Program Development