We Are Growing!

Laurie Keller and Mo Willems. Hyperion, $9.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-4847-2635-8
Keller (the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut) teams up with Willems for one of two titles launching the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series; vignettes featuring Willems's two pals bookend this story. "It is as exciting as watching grass grow," Elephant tells Piggie, holding a copy of this book, "because it is watching grass grow!" Indeed, Keller whisks readers to a vast lawn, where blades of grass are growing, though not at the same speed or in the same way. An early bloomer turns boastful ("I know, I know. I made it look easy"), but as the others grow, they realize that they all stand out in various ways, whether they're the tallest, curliest, or dandiest (in the case of a dandelion). But what's that buzzing noise? Keller's googly-eyed grasses brim with personality, her emphatic cartooning creates some wonderful slapstick moments, and raucous sound effects make the action of grass growing sound more like a five-car pileup. The underlying ideas—to stick to your strengths even when life (or a power mower) cuts you down, and that "We are all the something-est!"—are winners, much like the book itself. Ages 6–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 09/20/2016
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