Grow: Secrets of Our DNA

Candlewick. Sept. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536212723.
K-Gr 4–Big ideas about how living things grow and the role of DNA in the process combine seamlessly with clear, colorful, and sometimes humorous illustrations. The book begins with the statement, “All living things grow.” The corresponding illustrations show that plants, animals, and humans do just that. This understanding is further refined by the next observation: “The way living things grow helps them to survive in different places.” Complementary illustrations depict plants and animals that grow quickly or slowly depending on their location. As the text moves into a discussion of the role of DNA, readers learn that it contains coded instructions for the growth of living things. There is even an explanation of how the six and a half feet of DNA fits inside the human body. An afterword provides information about how human growth begins with a single cell and then, through the process of mitosis, creates the different kinds of cells human bodies need.
VERDICT What a match! Beautifully lucid, engaging sentences blend with detailed, informative illustrations that artfully extend big ideas about growth and the role of DNA. This book deserves a wide audience and multiple readings and rereadings. A wonderful addition to science programs and language arts studies of nonfiction books.

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