Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, July 15, 2022

Grow by Riz Reyes


Written by Riz Reyes; Illustrated by Sara Boccaccini Meadows
Magic Cat Publishing. An imprint of Abrams. 2022

July is the height of gardening here in Maine. So many vegetables are ripening and flowers blossoming, my yard is a palette of red, purple, pink, yellow, and white. What better way to witness first hand how interdependent humans and nature are with one another. Aphids on a plant? No worries. The Ladybug squad arrives and, presto, aphids are gone. In the evenings, I stand on the porch and watch the hummingbirds fill up on nectar from the red bee balm. 

In Grow, Riz Reyes celebrates fifteen plants - mint, lettuce, mushroom, daffodil, pineapple, tomato, apple, kale, carrot, aloe vera, tea plant, maple, bamboo, pumpkin, orchid - that have sustained communities and, in some instances, shaped many cultures around the world. “Plants and flowers, with their extraordinary abilities and powers are superheroes. We often overlook just how remarkable and resilient they can be: doing things we never could and saving our lives simply by existing on this planet.”

Each plant is explained in four pages. The first two pages focuses on the plants unique characteristics and uses. Turning the page we meet other members in that particular plant family and what characters they share, and some interesting facts on how the plant has been used throughout history. I learned so much about each plant. 

This beautiful oversized book offers large, full-page illustrations created in watercolor and gouache paints that will captivate the readers’ attention. 

Another title from Abrams:

Ada Twist, Scientist. The Why Files: All About Plants

By Andrea Beaty and Dr. Theanne Griffith

Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams. 2022

Now a popular series on Netflix, the Ada Twist books were super popular in my public library. The Ada Twist Why Files answers specific questions on the topic. In All About Plants, readers discover everything there is to know about plants. What they eat. Why do some plants have flowers and other don’t. Discover what’s the tallest plant out there! Fully illustrated with a mixture of photographs and drawings, this nonfiction series for early readers will surely be popular. Each title in the series also includes two science experiments. 

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