Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Book Review - Grow: The Secrets of Our DNA; Nicola Davies and Gustavo: The Shy Ghost; Flavia Z. Drago

(Illustrated: Emily Sutton) - Candlewick 2020
Grades (K-4)

Grow: The Secrets of Our DNA is a gem of a book which introduces young children to the magic of DNA, genes, heredity etc by showing how all living things grow (some fast, others slow): plants, animals and humans. Did you know a quahog takes 100+ years to reach palm size?  But then growing is not just about a change in size and shape.

In this book there is a DNA spiral to show steps, pairs and genes that determine our nose shape, hair color and texture, eye color, height etc. It further explains how 1/2 comes from each biological parent and how differences occur among siblings, even those with the same parents, creating a unique, yet similar genetic code to other family members.  There is even an "Afterward" titled: "How Did You Grow?"

Such a wonderful intro for children with vivid, colorful illustrations; some are light and fun as well making a serious book fun to read and absorb.

Rating - 5 stars

Candlewick -2020 

Gustavo: The Shy Ghost is a sweet story from a Mexican author full of lovely details that show us some Mexican traditions.  The story is about a shy ghost with a problem. He wants to make friends but, he is too shy to speak. With the Day of the Dead fast approaching he doesn't want to be left out. What will he do? He loves the violin and is secretly in love with Alma, a pretty monster, he'll send out invitations to a Day of the Dead concert, but, will anyone attend?  I think we all know that this book does have a happy ending.

I loved the spooky, colorful illustrations and the story about taking chances.

Grades Pre-2

Rating 4.5/5 


  1. Two such different books but they both look great!

  2. I've sent the details of the DNA book to my grand daughter in Melbourne. I am so glad that she is reading all the time, after never looking at a book at all. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Wonderful pair of books for kids (and maybe me, re the DNA one!)

  4. Both sound very interesting to me, especially the first one!

  5. Both of these look absolutely delightful! Such a good mix of fun and educational.

  6. I really like Nicola Davies. I'd love to see her take on DNA.

  7. Grow looks great! But our library doesn't have it :(


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