Title: Grow

Author: Cynthia Platt

Illustrator: Olivia Holden

Publisher and Year Amicus Ink in 2018

Number of pages: 32

Tags/Themes: Fiction, K-1, Evan White

Genre: Nature, Fiction, children’s picture book

Descriptive Annotation:  A young black girl sees a plot of land in the city that was overgrown with dead grass.  The young girl decides to clear a little bit of the land to plant a flower seed.  Other people in the community notice and begin to help her and plant more flowers and regrow the grass. The plot of land brings the community together to revive the land into a beautiful park. 

Classroom Application: This text could be used to reinforce social sciences and science.  On one side it could be used to discuss urban areas and how nature is beneficial and can bring people together.  Working together in unison can result in accomplishing in beautiful creations.  On the other side, it can be used to reinforce science, but specifically with plants, and growing plants, showing the importance of growing and vitalizing a community.   The students can start a garden in school, or continue a preexisting one.  The students can garden in their homes or even create a garden in a dead space with family or friends.  They can live the book and experience how growing gardens creates community.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis:  This book represents an urban community.  The book does not give detail on the community, but from the pictures, we know the plot of dead land is massive with buildings all around.  The garden becomes beautiful and the pictures show its beauty.  A young black girl also takes the initiative on her own to revitalize the land.  She takes initiative and uses her own resources to start the garden.  By her starting the garden, she is an inspiration to others.  A very subtle way to show black girls can be an inspiration for many.  I would introduce this book by showing the class similar community gardens in cities to show this book is realistic. “When you have one good seed of an idea, another one always seems to follow” (12).  This quote shows the simplicity of the book.  It encourages the students to stick to their ideas and they will start to snowball.  With time, the good idea becomes easier and easier as help will arise. “A little seed of an idea can turn into something quite big. If only you give it room to grow” (32).  This quote drives in the simplicity of the book.  It is meant for kindergartens or first graders to be straight forward and influence them their ideas matter and can make a beautiful difference in the world.  The last page in the book is the young black girl looking into the big healthy garden she started.  The girl is so proud of herself and the hard work paid off. 

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