Together We Grow

Paula Wiseman Bks. May 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534405868.
PreS-Gr 1– A severe rainstorm lures a series of different animals, big and small, together for shelter in a barn. The fox family is initially shunned, as all the animals yell: “Go away! We’re full today!” A lone duck, however, is brave and compassionate enough to approach them, demonstrating that to “learn and show together we grow” is the best approach. Ultimately, with acceptance, teamwork, and sharing during a catastrophe, “there is room for all.” Vaught’s spare, meticulous rhyming text perfectly complements Murphy’s eye-catching illustrations, which begin with a striking blue sky severed by jagged white lines for lightning. The lone duck is illuminated in bright yellow—a positive touch about the enlightening power of kindness and compassion in the midst of gloomy dark danger. The phrase “together we grow” is a bit unclear compared to the more apt “love prevails” and “there is room for us all.” Nonetheless, the overall message about working together effectively despite differences in times of need is a worthy lesson.
VERDICT A truly inspiring picture book that will resonate with both children and adults.

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