by Janette Nuss
October book selection
Title: As You Grow
Written by: Kirk Cameron & Brave Books
Illustrated by: Juan Moreno
Children Age 4 to 12
Creating a beautiful combination of words and art, Cameron and Moreno demonstrate amazing teamwork by packing a powerful message in the book “As You Grow.” Each phase of life provides opportunities to bear good fruit. As You Grow encourages thinking beyond oneself while looking toward the needs of others first.
The story unfolds in winter. Sky Tree, a baby acorn, lies nestled beneath the snow and soil. Soon, the acorn begins to sprout roots and grow. His unassuming grand adventure of life is just beginning.
Though Sky Tree is small, he is important!
As growth occurs, it is up to Sky Tree to produce good fruit. He has been given examples to follow of being loved and cared for. Now, it is up to him to stretch beyond what is comfortable. Sometimes this means reaching out to others who need help, even though it may be painful. As a little animal hobbles with a hurt leg, Sky Tree gives up one of his smaller branches as a crutch.
Author Cameron points out that sometimes in life, love will hurt, but keep in mind that the effort is always worthwhile.
Once Sky Tree has grown large, he decides to join a cause bigger than himself. He allows others to create a community within his branches. Life flourishes and feels good. Animals are working, playing, and living
together in harmony amongst his branches.
Although there are good times in life, it is important also to realize there will be times of great sorrow. Through these times of sorrow, Sky Tree discovers he can also experience the greatest joys. When faced with adversity, Sky Tree’s character matures as he chooses to grow in strength and gentleness.
The final pages include activities and messages encouraging children to learn how they can be like Sky Tree, developing their own fruit as they grow.
Mama Bear’s Commentary
Published in 2022,” As You Grow” is a refreshing narrative offering children solid character principles for the development of life’s journey.
Flying in the face of modern-day American culture, author Kirk Cameron dares to offer children direction, direction that points up toward “the One who loves you best” and encourages positive values, resulting in confidence rather than confusion.
Rejected by multiple libraries who refused to allow him to read his book to children or have it included it in the library collection, Cameron practiced what he preaches.
Undefeated, he pressed forward with good fruits of strength and gentleness. A year later, his book has now been heard and loved by a broad cross-section of society across America.