To Celebrate the Publishing of Growing Season I'm giving away 10 Autographed Books
It's here! It's Growing Season! People who know me, know that I love to watch things grow…I carefully nurture my indoor plants all year long, start flowers from seed in my bright porch, and when the warm weather arrives in New England, flowers will bloom in my yard all summer long.
Yes- Growing Season is about GROWING, but not only about growing flowers…
it’s about growing friendships, growing patience…and growing up.
Like the variety of flowers I feature in my illustrations, I purposely created a beautifully diverse garden of children; different colors, sizes, shapes and personalities. And like flowers, children will bloom at their own rate and at the perfect time.
Happy SPRING! It really is Growing Season. Plant some flowers…but sprinkle your garden with patience, because all things take time to grow…even kids.
Books have been mailed to winners- Thank you.
Josh- Washington DC
Dianna- Columbia, SC
Cathy - Lynnfield MA
Liz- Lawrenceville, GA
Gina- Troy, MI
Michelle- Pittstown, NJ
Anna- Cape Eliz, ME
Jill- Mont Vernon, NH
Karen- Plymouth, NH
Kirsten- Portland, ME
“Cocca-Leffler draws an easy metaphor between growing children and growing potted plants in this relatable story. El and Jo are the smallest students in their class, and they do everything together (“Even their names were short”). One spring, though, Jo starts to grow, just like the plants that the students will care for at home over the summer; neither El nor her plant, though, grow any taller. While Jo is away all summer, the girls exchange letters and El plants both of the flowers in the garden. Finally, Jo arrives home to find that both of the plants have bloomed—and she and El are the same height. Cocca-Leffler proffers a reassuring message to readers: no two growing up experiences are alike, and one develops at one’s own pace. A note on plant life cycles concludes.” —Publishers Weekly
“Best friends and their flowers grow on different timelines, but patience cures all fears of being left behind. The commonalities that El and Jo share seem to make it only natural that they are best friends—their short names, their small size, their small desks. But after Jo experiences a growth spurt in the spring, El is the only tiny person in class, and she feels smaller every day. At the end of the school year, each student picks a plant to take home and care for over the summer. Everyone reaches over El, who gets the last pot. Jo sees her friend's small, flowerless aster, and she offers her zinnias; she is going to her grandma's for the summer anyway. El plants the two side by side and waters them all summer, as she and Jo exchange letters. When Jo returns, the friends find, to their delight, that the aster isn't the only small thing that has grown. The illustrations use gouache, colored pencil, and collage with delightful detail, most scenes on ample white space, with a few busy spreads that reflect El's feelings. El, with tightly curled brown hair and tan skin, appears racially ambiguous, and Jo appears Asian. Their diverse classroom includes black, brown, and Asian children and a girl who uses a wheelchair. An endnote on plant life cycles differentiates annuals from perennials and biennials. A sweet story with emotional depth.” —Kirkus