Grow – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: Grow

Author:JoAnn Early Macken

Illustrator: Stephanie Fizer Coleman

Publisher: Boyds Mill Press, 2021

Ages: 3-6

Format/Genre: narrative nonfiction

Themes: nature, growth, lifecycle,


If you were an acorn, you’d swing from a stout twig, snug inside a hard brown shell, bristled cap on your head.


What would it be like to grow from an acorn into an oak, a tadpole into a frog, or a fawn into a deer? You would stretch your limbs into the sky, jump from puddle to pond, and spring from path to forest. Children learn to do these things and more as they grow from tiny babies into individuals unlike anyone else in this whole dazzling world. Life is full of change; this reassuring picture book honors the changes that make you unique. Grow is a glorious ode to the wonders of growing up.

Why I like this book:

Poetic and vibrant, this seemingly simple series of “What if…” questions provide rich responses about the beginnings and development of various flora and fauna, including a conclusion of human growth. The science is solid, incorporating accurate life-cycle vocabulary within the lyrical responses. The human cast is diverse and while appropriate for a pretty young audience, the figurative language could be wonderfully used as an elementary mentor text in writing activities. It concludes with our response to human growth, and that individuals are distinct and valuable, and that life should be embraced and celebrated.

It includes: acorns, caterpillars, tadpoles, hatchlings, ducklings, fauns, babies


A beautiful read aloud and great for any simple nature units for preschoolers.

Elementary age children could pick another animal/plant and describe and illustrate its birth and growth.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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