Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 12, 2018

Book Giveaway: GROW by Cynthia Platt

Author Cynthia Platt has a new picturebook, GROW with wonderful illustrations by Olivia Holden. Cynthia has offered to do a book giveaway. It hits bookshelves on March 13th. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

PAY IT FORWARD: Tweeting, reblogging, or posting it on facebook, can make a big difference in kicking off a new book. If you can help that way, it is really appreicated and a good way to give back to the children’s book writers and illustrators. Good karma for when your book is signed and coming out. Check back to discover the winner.


Can one little girl transform a neighborhood? When she sees an abandoned city lot, she has a tiny seed of an idea that the space could turn into something truly beautiful. Her idea may start small, but it soon grows to encompass the entire neighborhood as everyone works together to plant seeds and nurture the fledgling garden. GROW is about teamwork, dreaming big, and the power of one person to make big changes in the world around her.

With a spare text by Cynthia Platt and pastel illustrations by Olivia Holden, this picture book traces the transformation of one little girl’s neighborhood, and the importance of following your dreams.


This book started as a tiny seed of an idea itself, one that was inspired by two girls in my life, both of whom were quite young at the time. First, there was my daughter, who at around age five, began having lemonade and cupcake stands and donating the profits to everything from our local animal rescue center to a homeless shelter in downtown Boston to an LGBTQ+ rights group.

Then there’s my niece, who started doing yard work one summer so that she could donate the fees she made to good causes. She said she was starting her own nonprofit, and that she was calling it Grow because of the nature of the work she was doing. And while the book is not about either of these girls, their actions helped inspire me to write a picture book about a girl who has a small seed of an idea and manages to make big changes around her.

As with all book journeys, it was a strange and twisty road. In May 2016, I sent some writing samples to Amicus Publishing in the hopes of getting some work as a freelance nonfiction writer. When I didn’t hear anything back right away, I wasn’t at all surprised—this kind of thing takes time, if anyone gets back to you at all.

So, I was surprised (and thrilled) when I got an email back from Rebecca Glaser, an editor there. But she wasn’t interested in hiring me to write freelance nonfiction pieces—she wanted to know if they could consider one of the writing samples I’d sent, a picture book story called GROW, for their retail picture book line, Amicus Ink. The answer, of course, was a resounding yes from me!

While the story was going through the submission, and later acquisition, process at Amicus Ink, I had the enormous good luck to sign on with Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, so he took it from there.

GROW was inspired by my daughter and niece, who seem determined to change the world with their own two hands—something I greatly admire about them both. I loved writing it, but then allowed myself to put in the proverbial drawer. At most, I’d sent it out on submission a handful of times, and had either gotten no response or a rejection. I gave up on it far too easily, and have since learned my lesson: if you don’t send your work out into the world, there’s no risk of failing, but no chance of succeeding either!

As I watch students around the country rally around causes that are of great importance to them, I’m heart-glad that this picture book—a celebration of how one person, regardless of their age, can make a profound difference in the world—is being published right now.


Cynthia Platt is the author of three picture books—A Little Bit of Love; Panda-Monium; and GROW—as well as numerous Curious George books. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, with a special focus on writing for young people.

But she doesn’t just write children’s books, she edits them, too—and has more than twenty years experience working in children’s publishing at houses such as Little, Brown & Company, Candlewick Press, and most recently, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Currently, she writes picture book stories for learning apps for an educational nonprofit, and runs Cynthia Platt Editorial, her own full-service children’s book editing company.

Visit Cynthia at her websites, and


Thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like a very good book with a good message. Wishing you the best of lucky with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I’m so excited for this!!


  2. Looks great and I know a classroom of children who would appreciate this beautiful book.


  3. I love the concept and can’t wait to read Grow! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy, I’ve also tweeted about the giveaway.


  4. This book sounds beautiful!


  5. I shared on FB and tweeted: Lovely illustrations and wonderful theme. Good luck Cynthia.


  6. I am thrilled for you and for me! I’ll be ordering you book as soon as I’m done posting.

    All best,



  7. A wonderful lesson for young people and for those of us who are inspired by their actions. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Grow.
    I’ve pinned an image on Pinterest:, and tweeted a link to this post:
    Thanks again, have a great week!


  8. Congratulations on your book! it sounds beautiful.


  9. Cynthia is such a wonderful writer. I’m excited to read this and to share the great news of her timely, inspiring and encouraging story!


  10. I like the big scene with the people in the garden!


  11. Looks great! Go, girls!


  12. This looks like a wonderfully inspiring book for adults as well as children – How often we ignore those little seeds or are too afraid to allow them to flourish and grow… Can’t wait to read this:)


  13. This looks and sounds like a wonderful book. Congratulations to Cynthia and Olivia. I love those beautiful illustration spreads!


  14. Thanks for sharing your pub journey. The gentle illustrations are inviting. Tweeted –


  15. This looks like a wonderful book! i’ll be sure to look for it at our library. And it’s so interesting how your sample writing became a PB for them. Congrats! I’m off to re-tweet so count me in for the contest! Thank you!


  16. Congrats, Cynthia! 🙂


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