Written By: Cynthia Platt
Illustrated by: Olivia Holden
For Ages: 4-8 years
Topics Covered: Community, BIPOC Protagonists, Garden, Cooperation.
Summary: I’m a sucker for a community garden story, and Grow is an adorable rendition of one. A young girl sees an abandoned lot in her city and decides to plant a packet of seeds there. Slowly, more people catch on and join her. In a community effort, the lot is transformed into a usable and beautiful space in the community for everyone to gather!
The prose in this book is simple and beautiful, and the illustrations perfectly match the text. I actually really love the serene smile on the main character’s face for the entire story. She seems to be happy working by herself, and happy to be joined by others. When the project is completed, she’s surrounded by neighbors that she’s inspired to help create the garden. It’s a lovely example of how a person of any age can inspire creative action in their community, and be the catalyst for cooperation to create beauty that is for the public, just for the sake of beauty. There aren’t any profits to be made or gatekeeping of certain folks out of the space, it was created for everyone happily and for the love of spending time outdoors.
This book was kindly sent by Amicus Publishing, but all opinions are my own!
Featured image for this post found on Twitter!
From Cynthia’s website: “I’m a children’s books writer and editor, which means that books for young people form the dark core around which the molten magma of my existence flows (unlike Earth, though, I lack a hard, exterior crust). I’m the author of Panda-Monium and A Little Bit of Love, both published by Tiger Tales, the upcoming Grow from Amicus Ink, and numerous Curious George books.
Along with my daughter and husband, I live in a little yellow house that looks like something out of a storybook. We’re a stone’s throw to the beach, where I can spend endless hours searching for sea glass.”
Olivia is an illustrator and print maker currently based in Lancashire. In 2015 she obtained a degree with first-class honours in Fashion and Textile Design at the University of Huddersfield.
Following her studies Olivia has lived up and down the UK and developed her growing love and practice for illustration. She has worked professionally with a variety of publishers across the globe on many book, editorial and licensing projects. Her process combines different mediums including pencils, acrylics and gouache, to welcome an organic painterly style to her colourful work. Olivia loves to portray strong narratives within her illustrations, specialising in bringing whimsical scenes to life and building upon different textures in her work whilst taking inspiration from everyday life and objects.
When she’s not at her desk Olivia can be found hiking in the Lake District or baking some fresh cakes and jams in the kitchen.