Thursday 1 July 2021

Growing Pains

Growing Pains by Alison McLennan and Melissa Johns (EK Books) RRP $24.99 ISBN: 9781925820522

 Reviewed by Jeffery E Doherty 

Growing Pains is another beautifully designed picture book from EK Books. It explores the curiosity and kindness of Finn, who worries about the young tree his family has just planted in the garden.

As the weather turns cold, Finn fears that the tree might be suffering. Does it feel like he does? Is it cold, hungry, and scared out in the yard alone? But his innocent tenderness toward the tree leads him to discover, he too can be brave. This is a beautifully written story by Alison McLennan, capturing the delightful curiosity of children, although I am not sure the title completely captures the heart of the story.

The gorgeous illustrations throughout this book, by Melissa Johns are created through collage. The illustrations give the book a textural feel that make you want to run your fingers over the pictures. I would dearly love to see and touch the original art works. I particularly love how she captured Finn’s breath coming out in a cloud of steam in the frosty morning.

Growing Pains is a quiet, lovely story, and a visual delight. It also has a message for a child to discover along the way. I recommend this book as a great bedtime read and even as a resource for teachers looking at doing a collage art project with their students.

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