Growing Pains

USD $18.99

When Finn’s family plants a tree in their backyard, he feels responsible for it and worries the little sapling is cold, hungry or lonely. He tries to share his breakfast with it, offers it his scarf, and keeps it company. Just after going to bed, his nightlight goes out and Finn is plunged into darkness. But when he sees his tree standing tall and brave in the moonlight, it inspires him to be brave as well. A touching story about curiosity, empathy, care of the environment, and overcoming fears.



SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820522 | Hardback | 245 x 255mm / 9.5 x 10 in | 32 pages | Full Colour

A touching story about curiosity, empathy, care of the environment, and overcoming fears…

A word from the author…

“[Among other things] I also think Finn’s care and concern for this one tree is representative of how most children feel about the environment as a whole. The young generation care deeply about nature and saving the world, and I like the idea of encouraging child activism.”

– Alison McLennan



The Illustrator’s Process

“Recycled papers are the predominant media used; recycled teabags are used in all my artworks and illustrations, and added to these are the outside of coffee cups, wrapping paper, gift bags and serviettes. Once all of the paper pieces have been collaged in place, I then add the finer details.”
– Melissa Johns




Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

This book focuses on the important emotional intelligence (EQ) tools of kindness and empathy and covers other themes such as caring for the environment and overcoming fears. Growing Pains is presented in an easily relatable way for parents and teachers to introduce these important topics to young children.

Teacher’s Notes are available here

Alison McLennan was a terrible creative writer as a child but an enthusiastic volunteer in her school library. After studying journalism and then working in PR/media, Alison returned to creative writing while raising her family. When not writing children’s books, she’s busy prancing on the stage in musical theatre productions, singing with her children’s band Allioopsy, working as a voiceover artist, or curled up reading a book with her cat Honey.

Melissa Johns is an artist, illustrator, an avid upcycler and a closet poet. She produces artworks predominantly made of recycled materials that lend her work a uniquely whimsical quality. Melissa is passionate about her family, her artistic creations and stimulating young minds through art and literature.

I think it’s a lovely book, excellent for spawning conversations about worries, fears, friendships, and the natural world, along with discussions about creative license and language tools such as similes.

Reading Time
“ The story gives rise to interesting themes to discuss with children – care for plants, gardens and animals and facing fears, specifically fear of the dark.” Click here to read

The Carousel
“touching story about curiosity, empathy, care of the environment, and overcoming fears will captivate the entire family.” Click here to read

Western Suburbs Weekly
“the world would be a much better place if there were more kindness and empathy in it”

Bergers Book Review
“Growing Pains is a story of a boy who is very much in tune with nature. Finn looks after the tree’s perceived needs, and the tree gives back when he needs it most. I highly recommend this sweet and gentle book.” Click here to read

NZ Booklovers
Finn’s journey is full of fun and humour. It’s about asking big questions and curiosity, as well as care and empathy. Encouraging connection to the natural world, this story opens up a new world in the ordinary backyard just outside Finn’s door. Click here to read

Barking Planet
“Trees, forests, A sense of wonder, and delightful, immersive illustrations…” Click here to read

The Space magazine (ECC)
Growing Pains is about empathy and kindness, following a little boy who is worried that the new tree in his garden might get cold, hungry, or lonely just like he does. It has an incredibly unique style of illustration that is a joy to look over, with a 3D multi-media look that makes you want to touch and feel. 

Rascals and Rainbows

“This is an endearing story, perfect for children who struggle with change in routine and anxiety.”

Little C’s Reading Corner

“a brilliantly written picture book that highlights the topic of overcoming anxiety in children and learning to cope with change.”

Bookworms for Kids

“The story flows smoothly and allows the illustrations to add their spark and even a pinch of humor. These are done in a textured style, which allows artistic flair while keeping everything easy to identify.” Click here for the full review

NZ Booklovers

“Your heart will melt when you meet Dindim, a little penguin lost in the waves who ends up on the coast of Brazil. Children will find much to love about this book, not only in the story.” Click here for the full review

“ Finn’s new tree must get growing pains too, feel the cold, but the tree pays back with comfort. Colourful collage illustrations”

Wangaratta Chronicle
“ A new book book about a boy growing up and experiencing feelings of curiosity, empathy and care for the environment”

Just Write for Kids
“an important book for young children to realise their own courage and resilience, and inspire care for the world around us. This is one that will absolutely burst your own heart with love.” Click here for the full review.

South Sydney Herald
“The lush collage art this in picture book is a delight – adding whimsy and gentleness to a tender tale of empathy, kindness and care for the environment, and how to draw on the strengths of others to overcome your fears.” Click here for the full review.

Blue Wolf Reviews
“Charming and fun.” Click here for the full review.

Kids’ Book Review 
“a lovely exploration of curiosity and a child’s world from a child’s perspective. It’s filled with wonder” Click here for the full review.

Growing Pains is a quiet, lovely story, and a visual delight. It also has a message for a child to discover along the way. I recommend this book as a great bedtime read” Click here for the full review.

Bookworm for Kids
“a touching story about curiosity, kindness, empathy, care of the environment, and overcoming your fears.” Click here for the full review.

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