Perfect Picture Book Friday: GROWING SEASON Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. And I’ve got a wonderful book to review that fits perfectly with this season of spring.



Written and illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Published by Sterling House Books (2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Friendship, gardening

Synopsis: From Amazon:

El and Jo are the shortest kids in class, and they’re inseparable. But what happens when Jo starts to grow? This sweet picture book explores the joys and challenges of friendship and growing up.
El and Jo are the smallest students in their class—and best friends, too, like peas in a pod. Even their names are short. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed, while El feels smaller every day. On the last day of school, their teacher asked every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer. All the other kids reach over El to grab their plant, and she has to take the very last one: a tiny, flowerless aster. At first, she’s disappointed. But as summer progresses, the aster begins to bloom—and so does El!

Why I love this book:

  • I love friendship stories!
  • This is a wonderful book to use for discussion about how we are all different and we grow and mature in our own ways.
  • FABULOUS illustrations!



Grow Your Own Salad Garden: for detailed instructions:

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s blog.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Maryann’s wonderful new book!

And please come back tomorrow for an inside look into the writing and illustrating journey of author Maryann Coccoa-Leffler.


24 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: GROWING SEASON Plus Giveaway

  1. This books sou ds lovely. Our Elementary school has a community garden and they do loads of growing projects. I was one of the kids who grew faster than everyone in my class reaching my full height by 5th grade and struggling with being different in that way. I like to buy the sad, not sure if they will survive, plants at the store to see if I can give the what they need to thrive. It’s amazing what time and care will do for anything and anyone.


  2. What a unique and charming way to approach the topics of friendship and growing up! I’m looking forward to reading this sweet book.


  3. Maryann has captured one of my childhood friendships as we grew up together at different speeds. What an endearing theme with heart! I’m excited to read this charming story. Thanks so much, Tara, for giving it applause and praise.


  4. Sounds very cute. I remember when my best friend was one of the tall kids when school first began. By high school, she was the short one 🙂


  5. I adore friendship stories and the illustrations are fun and cute. I just want posters to hang of these characters to bring smiles to all who see them.


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