Grow: Secrets of Our DNA

Written By: Nicola Davies

Illustrated by: Emily Sutton

For Ages: 4-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Science, DNA, Pint-Sized Professor, Nature, Animals.

Summary: This book is a really cool story following a girl while she (and the reader) learn all about the unique genetic makeup of humans and animals. Grow breaks down lofty scientific concepts easily for young readers and introduces them to the elements that form the basis for all life. Not only do our bodies grow in size, but they also grow in complexity! Sprinkled throughout the book are more facts about animals and their unique genetic attributes as well.

As far as representation goes, I’m so pleased the main character is a young girl of color! She is interracial, and goes on lots of adventures with her family while teaching the reader about both the animal kingdom and human genetic development. This is absolutely a book I would be so excited to share with a classroom as both a read aloud and part of a science unit. I urge you to check it out and unlock some of your own genetic secrets!

This book was kindly sent by Candlewick Press but all opinions are my own.

Nicola Davies

From her website:

“I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by animals. From the moment I could walk I was out in the garden watching ants and worms, and collecting snails as pets.

I had my first pair of binoculars for my eighth birthday. They were so big, I couldn’t hold them steady for more than a few seconds. I can still remember the very first bird I saw through them: a male blackbird with his golden- yellow eye ring and sooty black feathers.

My first job was studying geese in Scotland, my second was hand rearing jackdaws and my third was watching humpbacked whales from an uninhabited island in Newfoundland! In the last two years I’ve returned to studying animals and have been helping out on a long term study of sperm whales, sailing in the Sea of Cortez, and the Caribbean off the island of Dominica.

I’ve seen all sorts of animals, all over the world: chamaeleons in Madagascar, turtles in the Seychelles, walruses in the Arctic, bat eared foxes in Kenya, salt water crocodiles in Australia. But I still love the animals that are within reach of my home in Wales: the ravens and red kites, the grey seals and the choughs, the roe deer and foxes, even the blackbirds that nest in my tiny garden.”

Emily Sutton

Emily Sutton is an illustrator whose work is influenced by 20th century artists such as Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious. She studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and Rhode Island and has designed a range of fabrics for St Jude’s, which won Best British Pattern in the ELLE Decoration British Design Awards 2011. Her previous books for children include Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day and Clara Button and the Wedding Day Surprise.

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