Growing Pains, by Alison McLennan and Melissa Johns, has fun illustrations reflective of a scrapbook which lends warmth to an already sweet story. This wonderful representation of a child’s mind follows Finn as he shows empathy and kindness towards a newly planted tree. With the freedom of his imagination, he cares for the tree as he would a friend. Through his questioning and kindness, he teaches himself to be brave. Finns’ ragdoll-like appearance fits in perfectly with the books patchwork style illustrations which evoke whimsical and wholesome feelings.

Alison McLennan, a mother of two, is an Australian children’s author whose writing clearly reflects a mothers understanding and experience. Alison studied journalism at university and through her love for writing discovered her passion for stories. Once she had her children and was reading to them every night, she fell in love with the artform of picture books. From imagining stories for her daughter, to writing them down, to being a published author, Alison can’t imagine being anything but a children’s author. She dedicated her second book, Growing Pains, to Peter, Kate and Connor. Allison’s first book, Hotel for Bees, was published by the State Library of Queensland. Her third picture book will be released in 2022 by Storytorch Press. Alison is also a voiceover artist, actor and singer. She has published her short stories and released Flood In The Village, her graphic novel, in 2020 with Library For All as part of their natural disaster education series.

Melissa Johns is an artist from Northeast Victoria, Australia. She is the creator of Misscycled Art. Her Misscycled process involves painting and drawing on recycled tea bags and other upcycled materials. She collages onto a canvas with each colour being a separate piece of fabric. This process takes anywhere from two to six weeks. Melissa has won several Victorian awards for her work. She hopes that her Misscycled process becomes popular amongst other artists while continuing to raise environmental awareness.

Growing Pains captures the essence of children living from their hearts. With Alison’s knowledge as a mother and Melissa’s focus on the environment, they have presented this tale perfectly. This is a lovely bedtime story for a child who is curious, empathetic or a little scared of the dark.

Growing Pains is out now, published by EK Books