Grow Tall Sid! by Debra Wellington – Life Cycle of a Sunflower

We adored Debra Wellington’s first book – The Animal Says… (check out my review here) so I was delighted when Deb asked if I would be happy to review her second book that publishes 28th March 2024 – Grow Tall Sid! Explore Debra’s art and books on her website here.

Grow Tall Sid! A Triumph

Grow Tall Sid! is yet another triumph. There are a few similarities between the two books but some exciting differences too. As with The Animal Says… the letters used on the cover of the book have little eyes peeping out at you. This was one of our favourite features last time as they’re an invitation to come and take a look in the book.

Collage Illustrations

I’ve likened Deb’s artwork to the author and illustrator Eric Carle before and it still has that feel but her rich, warm collages have a growing sense of unique style.

In this latest book we get settings for the characters and we adore the textures that almost jump off the page that Deb has captured in areas such as the soil. This book is one that sparks your creativity and invites you to create your own works of art.

Ideal Books to Explore Curriculum

Deb’s books are ideal for home yet equally perfect for nurseries and schools. They’re books that ignite so many learning opportunities through a range of topics.

Grow Tall Sid! tells the story of little seed Sid who wants to be tall and bright like other flowers. With the help of creatures in the garden Sid blossoms and young readers learn the lifecycle of the sunflower.

This is where we see a big difference from the first book, which was non fiction. Grow Tall Sid! sees Debra confidently expand into fiction.

Life Cycle of a Sunflower

Many life cycle books are represented linearly with a beginning and an end – in the case of a sunflower – seed to flower. Debra cleverly completes the circle showing how a flower wilts and returns its seeds to the soil. I think this is such an important connection to overtly make.

Favourite Parts of Grow Tall Sid!

The vocabulary in the book has lots to tantalise your taste buds. Words Floss and I particularly loved included – anchored, wilted and snuggling. Our favourite spreads are with the hedgehog and the snail. I do hope Deb decides to make these into prints.

Buy Grow Tall Sid!

Sunflower Growing Kit

Deb also kindly sent us a Sunflower Growing Kit that you can purchase separately to accompany the book. The kit you can purchase by emailing Deb at – it’s £5.99+P&P.

It’s a great value set and Floss has thoroughly enjoyed exploring it. I’m not so good with messy play – I try but it makes me twitch! We love this particular tray – Inspire My Play Tray that we use for messy activities.

Inspire My Play Tray

The Inspire My Play Tray consists of a large deep circular tray with six segments that neatly fit inside the deep tray. You get a lid that securely fits on the top but it can also double as a shallow tray. The material it is made of makes it super easy to clean up all types of play including soil, sand, dough etc.

Life Cycle Exploration

Keeping other resources to hand can be a great way for children to show what they have learnt. Floss enjoyed planting her seed baby and then telling me the life cycle following the growth timeline in Deb’s pack.

Sunflower Projects

We love sunflower projects. You might enjoy one of these posts if you’re studying sunflowers:

Spring Art and Craft Ideas - Sunflower - painting - collage - fine motor skills - fine motor control - creative play - messy play - waldorf inspired - learning through play - spring play - toddler ideas - get crafty - craft therapy

Buy Grow Tall Sid!

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