The Growing Story by Ruth Krauss and Helen Oxenbury

One of the paradoxes of life is that when you’re a child, all you ever want is to be a grown-up; but when you become a grown-up, you moan about growing old and wonder why you were in such a hurry to leave your carefree childhood behind in the first place. But I digress.

The Growing Story is a sweet story about a little boy who worries that he’s not growing, especially when he observes the plants and animals around him growing bigger and changing rapidly throughout the changing seasons whereas he still seems to look the same.

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It’s only when a full year has gone by and he takes out some of his warm clothing to wear again that he realises that they are now too small for him because — whaddya know? — he has grown bigger after all.

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Any child will be able to relate to how the boy feels since children are always eager to grow bigger, and it’s nice that the author uses the changing seasons as a subtle way to mark the passage of time. The gentle illustrations by Helen Oxenbury are also a perfect match for the text and convey the various changes that the different seasons bring very well.

p.s. Even as a parent, I can relate to how the little boy feels since I’m always worried that my kids are not growing as well as they should; that they should be a certain height or weight because someone somewhere came up with a chart of growth milestones. Hence every and any sign that they have grown — too-small shoes/pants/shirt, an additional centimetre in height or gram of weight gained — is reassuring and cause for cheer!

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