September 30, 2016
We Are Growing! by Laurie Keller
I have to admit that I was initially confused when I saw this one. I had seen it advertised as a Mo Willems book but here was a different author’s name. Now that the last book in the Elephant and Piggie series has been published (last as in there will be no more), the two characters will continue to appear at the beginning and ending of books in the Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series. These parts of each book are written by Willems. The main story is written by someone else.
This time around, Laurie Keller has written a story about eight friends. They are growing fast and changing every moment. One is the tallest. Another the curliest. Then there’s the one who is the silliest. Each spread challenges children knew to reading to decipher a pair of words, tall and tallest, curly and curliest, etc.
But the last friend can’t figure out where he excels. Everyone else is the best at something. What is his special skill?
Now, you’ve probably looked at the top right and seen the cover of the book. Yep. The eight friends are indeed blades of grass. Well, seven of them are. The second from the right end has a surprise in store for everyone.
As is always the case with early readers, the illustrations help new readers decipher the text. The illustrations are simple enough not to distract from the text but still loads of fun. Obviously there has to be plenty of humor to get readers to watch grass grow.
The book design is also clever. SPOILER ALERT. SKIP THE REST OF THE PARAGRAPH IF MY REVEALING THE ENDING WILL FREAK YOU OUT. By the time the story ends, the last blade of grass has figured out that he is the neatest. He proves it by sweeping things up – including the page numbers.
This book is silly and fun and will keep your young reader turning the pages as they seek to find out what is so special about that last blade of grass. Pick this one up for your young reader today.