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by Ruth Krauss & illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-024716-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

Despite his mother’s repeated reassurances, a tyke who observes changes in chicks and a puppy as seasons pass has trouble believing that he’s growing too. The text, originally published in 1947, hasn’t aged, but Oxenbury’s fresh take on the antique rural setting and stylized figures of Phyllis Rowand’s illustrations does add a livelier, more natural look. Though there’s an odd distance in the pictures between the pensive little boy and his hardworking, very young-looking single parent—the two seldom make eye contact, she is usually posed at least partially turned away from the viewer and her preoccupied reply to his persistent query (“Of course you are growing”) seems snappish—the boy’s doubt is one that might occur to many younger children. When the previous winter’s clothing proves too small, thus providing objective proof that he is indeed getting bigger, his exuberant cartwheel ends the episode on an emphatic, upbeat note. (Picture book. 4-6)