“Filled with beautiful illustrations and lyrical text, The Rainforest
Grew All Around is an excellent resource to introduce children to
the wonders of rainforests, an important step in teaching children
to be good stewards of Planet Earth.
~ Julianne Schrader - Education Program Manager
"A lighter, less message-driven alternative to Lynne Cherry’s
classroom standby, Great Kapok Tree (1990)."
~ Kirkus Review , March 2007
Beautifully written by Susan K. Mitchell and superbly illustrated by Connie
McLennan, “The Rainforest Grew All Around” is an ideal introduction to
rainforest ecology and eco-systems for elementary school and middle school
students. Young readers will learn amazing facts about a variety of animals and
plants native to rainforest habitats. Kids will enjoy looking for rainforest bugs
and butterflies nicely embedded in the detailed and complex illustrations. The
text is enriched by the inclusion of ‘Animal Sidebar Fun Facts’ and ‘Plant
Sidebar Fun Facts’. Kids will learn about rainforest animal adaptations, plant
adaptations, seed dispersal, as well as what can be obtained from rain forests.
There is even a rainforest cookie recipe! A special note for parents and
teachers is the Sylvan Dell Publishing website’s learning links and teaching
activities associated with utilizing “The Rainforest Grew All Around” as an
educational resource. As fun as it is informative, “The Rainforest Grew All
Around” is a welcome and strongly recommended addition to family, school,
and community library Nature Studies and picturebook collections.
~James A Cox, editor-in-chief
Midwest Book Review
You can travel through the rainforest following the circle of life depicted in this
beautifully illustrated book. The "Creative Mind" section has been verified by
David Oren of the Nature Conservatory, Amazon Conservation Program. Just
another excellent book by our friends at Sylvan Dell Publishing. It is
recommended for the entire family to read, learn and enjoy! This book even
supports elementary school curriculum focusing on plants animal habitats.
~Helen B. Fellers, Coordinator of the
South Carolina Center for Children's Books and Literacy
South Carolina State Library
This unique book capitalizes on the familiar song “The Green Grass Grew All Around” to
present entertainment and information about the Rain Forest. The lines repeat and
accumulate adding such Rain Forest entities as the seed, tree, cat, vine, snake and
more. After a read or two, listeners will delight in voicing the text along with an adult
reader. Or, the one syllable words will allow children to read the text on their own. Bright
water color illustrations bleed from the edges of their frame and add a realistic edge to
the text. Each spread contains a sidebar filled with facts about the creatures or the Rain
Forest. The format is one in which the sidebars could be read separately from the sing-
song text or they could be read at the same time. Either way, the clever set up will
provide lots of enjoyment. It is an excellent resource to add to science lessons. End
matter is a plus. The Creative Minds section tells about adaptations of the animals in the
text and also has a recipe for Rain Forest Cookies. You can’t go wrong when you add
this to elementary classrooms and libraries.
Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database
This lilting text ... [is] a superbly educational and entertaining
book for young readers. Readers will surely find something
new every time they read it. Highly recommended for
classrooms K - 2.
recommended books for the classroom
"Colorful and engaging - a springboard for discussion with
children about other life cycles and ecosystems, as it will
inevitably pique their interest."
~ Armchair Interviews
Yum, a rainforest cookie recipe, informative sidebars, and
luscious illustrations make this lovely book a keeper! Children
ages 3 to 7 will delight in this book, which will be enjoyed for
years to come in both home and classroom libraries.
~ Judith Nasse, Children’s Book Reviews
"Check out this clever Amazon adaptation of the children's
favorite "The Green Grass Grew All Around" by new author
and preschool teacher Susan K. Mitchell. This is a solid
addition to your children's science and nature section."
~The Toolbox - March 2007
Association of Booksellers for Children
"A delightful tale ... a children’s book, both you and your
children will enjoy reading this story together time and time
again all while delivering a great lesson of sharing and team
work. The book is engaging and a pure delight and offers a
wonderful cast of characters."
~ Quality Book Reviews
Susan K. Mitchell’s version of this old fable is well written and flows
well when read aloud. McNevin Hayes’ illustrations are a treasure.
His characters are quirky while retaining just a bit of the rawness you
might expect in the desert. My favorite is the jackrabbit, who’s so
skinny you can see his ribs.
There’s more to this story than just an easy flow and pictures that
make you smile. The lesson behind the fable stresses teamwork,
sharing, and ingenuity. Stone Pizza should be a welcome addition to
any children’s library.
"Children learn about the wide variety of creatures lurking in
the lush Amazon rainforest in this adaptation of 'The Green
Grass Grew All Around'."
~ Children's Book Council Magazine Showcase
This lively introduction to plants and animals of the Amazon rainforest is
organized around the towering kapok tree. Readers meet a jaguar, a green boa,
leafcutter ants, a sloth, and other creatures that live in its branches. The
cumulative verse draws them together while the “rainforest grew all around, all
around; the rainforest grew all around.” Text panels on the sides of the well-laid-
out pages offer facts about the plants and animals depicted close up, such as,
“Pineapples are bromeliads that grow in the ground.” Although the color
illustrations resemble those of Lynne Cherry’s in The Great Kapok Tree
(Harcourt, 1990), this book is less message heavy. Two pages of activities plus
a recipe for rainforest cookies provide opportunities to extend learning, but there
is no musical score.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
~ School Library Journal - August 2007
This engaging book about the rainforest, inspired by the author’s experience using the
song “The Green Grass Grew All Around “ with preschoolers, amply fills a new
publisher’s mission to provide “Science and Math through Literature.” With intricate,
colorful illustrations, views from underneath and through the leaves of the rainforest,
rhyming words encouraging story hour participation — “and the rainforest grew all
around, all around; the rainforest grew all around” — this picture book is a winner! A
toucan, jaguar, emerald tree boa, bat, sloth, butterflies, leafcutter ants, moths, poison
dart frogs and other creatures make their appearances. A kapok tree, bromeliads,
lianas and other plant life are also woven into the verse and illustrations. Children will
delight in locating tiny creatures, such as the caterpillar near the jaguar’s tail. The book
ends with For Creative Minds, a brief section about adaptation, also available at www.
SylvanDellPublishing.com, and a Rainforest Cookies recipe emphasizing ingredients
from the rainforest. Connie McLennan’s watercolor and acrylic illustrations embellish
this cumulative tale. Highly recommended.
~Reviewed by Lora Mirza
Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia Library Quarterly