Caramel has already reviewed three books from the Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series (see his reviews of The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat, The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham, and Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat). Today he reviews a fourth book from this collection: We Are Growing! by Laurie Keller. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: What is this book about Caramel?
Caramel: Hmmm, I’m busy, I’m flipping through the pages.
S: Yes, you can do that of course, but you should also tell us about the book.
C: It is about eight leaves of grass.
S: The book is about grass?
C: Not exactly. The characters are grass leaves but the book is about one particular leaf.
S: So what is interesting about this leaf?
C: He doesn’t know what he is. Until the end.
S: What does that mean? He is a grass leaf. So he knows that, right?
C: Yes, but among his friends, there is the tallest one, there is a silliest one, there is a curliest one. There is a crunchy one, for some reason. And two pointy ones.
S: I see. So our hero leaf wants to be special like them too?
C: Yes! And in the end he figures out that he is the …
S: Wait! Don’t tell. You’ll spoil it for our readers!
C: Aww…. That’s too bad… I really wanted to give it away.
S. Alright, let us not give it away though. Let us go back to what this book is really about. It is not quite about grass, is it?
C: No not really.
S: Can you think of the grass leaves as little bunnies in second grade?
C: Hmm, maybe.
S: Is there a tallest in your class? Is there someone who is the funniest? Is there someone who is the messiest?
C: Hmm… I don’t know. We don’t really compare ourselves to each other. And there is definitely not the pointiest. Or a curliest one.
S: There might be bunnies with curlier hair than you! But it is good that you and your friends don’t compare yourselves to one another. Do you think the little grass leaf would be happier if he did not compare himself to his friends?
S: So do you think the book is about comparing oneself to others?
S: Or maybe not.
C: I don’t know really.
S: All the leaves are unique in their own ways, right?
C: Not all! Two of them are the same! Practically. They are both the pointiest.
S: Yes but they too are special in some way and different from one another.
C: Their colors are kind of different I think. One is darker green and the other is lighter green.
S: Yes. So our little grass leaf friend also wants to be unique and special, right?
C: Yes! I think that is what the story is about! Being unique, right?
S: Right. And we are all unique, each of us!
C: Yes! And the little leaf figures this out too. And he is unique because .. ok, I won’t tell you.
S: Good idea Caramel! Readers can read and find it out themselves. Do you think it is time to wrap things up now?
C: Yes! Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!