I said, “Our Peanut is the size of a peanut!? NO WAY!”
How’s Peanut? is an informative picture book that takes the reader on an easy to understand journey through how babies grow in the womb, starting from when they’re just as small as a peanut. Throughout the story, “Peanut”’s grandmother asks her daughter how Peanut is growing and her daughter responds, letting her know how big Peanut is (the size of a peanut, then avocado, then banana and eventually watermelon) and what she is growing and able to do.
Based on the author’s own experience as a proud prospective grandmother, How’s Peanut? gives a sense of the exciting journey shared between mother and daughter (and Peanut). The book is also written as though being told to Peanut thereby immersing child readers in a story they will come to realize is their own.
While the book’s repetition and lack of story beyond the growing of a child may lose the attention of older readers, it functions as a perfect lap read for younger children and an engaging way to explain how babies grow. The use of fruit in describing the size of Peanut as Peanut grows is both accessible and appealing and would easily capture the imagination of child readers.
Nordell’s artwork has surprising depth for children’s book illustrations and, at many points, borders on realism. Soft pastel shades are used to create a soothing aesthetic that gives readers a sense of the nourishing growth taking place throughout the story, with vibrant greens, purples and yellows catching the eye. The small pictures of mother and daughter in the corner of each page as they go about their lives also serve as points of interest for child readers to spot and speculate on. The eventual two-page spread featuring a now watermelon-sized Peanut is a perfect progression in the story, making the child’s growth real to readers.
How’s Peanut? is an educational and engaging picture book for younger children, particularly those who are welcoming siblings or other additions to the family and are curious about the process.
Tessie Riggs, a librarian living in Toronto, Ontario, never leaves the house without a book.