cover image Grow: Secrets of Our DNA

Grow: Secrets of Our DNA

Nicola Davies, illus. by Emily Sutton. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1272-3

Davies and Sutton reunite to offer another finely crafted exploration of a fundamental science concept: this time, how and why things grow. Davies’s thoughtful prose spirals from simplicity—“All living things grow”—through accessible complexities, showing the range and diversity of growing things, from sunfish and bristlecone pines to human beings. It builds to an engaging explanation of DNA—“The spiral ladder of DNA has thousands and thousands of steps.... The pattern of the steps creates the coded instructions for building living things.” Davies notes that while genes make individuals unique, “all life has always been written in one language.” Throughout, italicized asides present captivating facts (“Four genes to shape a nose.... At least sixteen genes to give eyes their color”). Sutton’s intimate watercolor illustrations riot with rich details, including caterpillars wiggling on cabbages, a loose typology of human noses, and the ribbonlike helices of twining DNA. Ages 5–9. (Sept.)