We Are Growing / by Laurie Keller. 6.14.2017

Hyperion ISBN 9781484726358

PRI PS-Grade 2 Rating: 4

Something exciting is happening! The grass is starting to grow and as a result, each blade of grass is discovering his or her unique characteristics. One blade is the tallest, while another is the curliest, and another still the silliest. Everyone finds they are the something-est–everyone, that is, except Walt. No one can seem to find anything special about Walt, especially Walt himself. It will take the minor catastrophe of a buzzing lawn mower for Walt to finally figure out what makes him special.

With simple sentences, patterned dialogue, and repetitive phrasing that will entice emergent readers, We Are Growing by Laurie Keller has rightfully earned its standing as the 2017 medal winner of the Geisel Award. The colorful speech bubbles and varying bolded font make reading a visual delight. The humorous illustrations add characterization, plot detail, and tone to the simple text. This book is a great tool for introducing superlative words and teaching dialogue, both of which could inspire some fun classroom activities. The underlying theme that everyone is special for their own unique characteristics and abilities adds depth to an otherwise silly, lighthearted read. Overall, this is an entertaining book that young readers will enjoy hearing or reading many times over.

Justina McBride, CLJ