This is How I Grow

New Book Lies at the Intersection of Early Science Education and Attachment Parenting

Kids find the wide-ranging skills these animals must quickly develop in order to survive to be all the more compelling for their, and our, shared classification as mammals.”

— Dan Levy, Tillywig awards chair

More than a simple scientific introduction, the animal stories in This Is How I Grow celebrate those things that unite all mammals, fostering empathy, kindness, and compassion in their young readers.

The newest book in the “Beginnings” collection, This Is How I Grow introduces readers to eight different animal ambassadors from habitats across the globe. In two-page vignettes, each mammal baby soliloquizes on their birth, nursing, and weaning experiences before exploring the skills they must learn from their mother and others in their community in order to achieve independence. This is an engaging approach for children ages 7-10 who are just starting to explore what it means for them to be “all grown up.”

All newborn mammals—whether they have hooves, flippers, paws, claws, or wings—rely on mother’s milk to help them grow. This book conveys that childhood is the period of time where mammals rely on their family and community to survive. This time together allows mammals to create strong bonds and loving relationships that readers young and old will recognize from their own lives.

This Is How I Grow just received the 2020 Book of the Year award from Creative Child Magazine and has also won a Tillywig Brain Child award. Tillywig awards chair Dan Levy celebrates the first-person narrative that “deeply draws young readers in.” saying that, “verbal gems and lush, lifelike illustrations infuse the writing with warmth and personality. Kids find the wide-ranging skills these animals must quickly develop in order to survive to be all the more compelling for their, and our, shared classification as mammals.”

Debut illustrator Wesley Davies fosters this sense of connection while imparting important information about each animal’s habitat, community, size, and more. These expansive, detailed illustrations infuse the book with a sense of scientific authority. Readers could get lost exploring the lush artwork overflowing with scientifically accurate flora and fauna from each animal’s habitat. In the back of the book, readers find questions that encourage them to delve more deeply into the visual text. These reference pages allow parents and educators to address the questions each little scientist is likely to have as they turn through the book.

This Is How I Grow explores the incredible variety of skills baby mammals must learn in order to survive and thrive. From bats learning how to fly to elephants gaining control of their trunks, animal families help their young develop the tools they need to hunt, forage, or scavenge.

Author Dia L. Michels is an award-winning science and parenting writer who has authored or edited over a dozen books for both children and adults. This is her fourth book exploring science topics through animal stories. Studying mammals has helped her appreciate the simplicity and importance of attachment parenting and breastfeeding. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Washington D.C., where she shares her home with three cats and a dog. ◊

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