GROWING SEASON, by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Sterling Children’s Books


El and Jo are the shortest kids in class, and they’re inseparable. But what happens when Jo starts to grow? This sweet picture book explores the joys and challenges of friendship and growing up. “A sweet story with emotional depth.” —Kirkus

El and Jo are the smallest students in their class—and best friends, too, like peas in a pod. Even their names are short. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed, while El feels smaller every day. On the last day of school, their teacher asked every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer. All the other kids reach over El to grab their plant, and she has to take the very last one: a tiny, flowerless aster. At first, she’s disappointed. But as summer progresses, the aster begins to bloom—and so does El!

approx. 40 pages

Out April 2, 2019


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Maryann Cocca-Leffler is an author/illustrator and has several books out. You can see her books at

I find her style of illustrations very whimsy and sweet. She has a knack for creating sweet and adorable characters successfully giving them a wide range of emotions on their faces. She also is really good at drawing figures and flora.

This is a book about best friends who shared everything from the length of first names to height. Then one of the two girls changes leaving the other to feel left behind.  However, it’s not for long when over the summer holidays, something wonderful happens.

What great characters! I would love to see a series just for them. The message in this book is perfect for early readers and beautifully illustrated. When reading this book, I was taken back to my own childhood and my best friend.

I really enjoyed this book and will look into getting my hands on more of this author/illustrator’s work.

I gave it:


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