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A Poem Grows Inside You
Activities & Resources

 A Poem Grows Inside You 


written by Katey Howes

illustrated by Heather Brockman Lee

The Innovation Press, Oct 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-9431-4799-1

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We all hold the seed of something wonderful inside us, just waiting for the right moment to bloom. In A Poem Grows Inside You, the seed of an idea waits for the rhythm of the rainfall to awaken it, then takes root and begins to grow.


At once a celebration of the deep connection creatives have with their art and an acknowledgement of the courage it takes to let it into the sun, this beautifully illustrated picture book encourages readers to nurture their talents and boldly share them with the world.

2023 Pennsylvania Center for the Book

Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book!!!

2023 Library of Congress Great Reads from Great Places

Lee Bennett Hopkins Award Judges' Comments: 

"A Poem Grows Inside You is a beautiful and playful picture book that fittingly celebrates the joy of writing poetry through the poetic form. The pictures support and enhance the gentle narrative, creating a heartwarming and uplifting read for its child audience.

This book is a celebration of poetry—one that gently introduces young readers to the joy of poetic expression, rhyme, and rhythm. As a lover of poetry, it's impossible not to feel kinship with this book, simply for the line, 'Your body's been thirsty/but did not know why. (A life without poetry/often feels dry.)'

Katey Howes teaches us that we are all poets and that each of us has a poem that grows inside of us that needs to be planted to bloom.  A Poem Grows Inside You is a gentle story that is the perfect read aloud in every writing classroom from preschool through adult.  Howes' book is quiet, yet powerful, inspiring each and every one of us."


Your body’s been thirsty/ but did not know why./ (A life without poetry/ often feels dry.)” Steadily rhyming verse exudes possibility as Howes parallels the writing process with the cultivation of seeds. In saturated colored pencil textures, Lee’s art depicts a child with brown skin and curly purple hair venturing into the rain with a yellow umbrella. As they dance through puddles and peer at fish, their seed of an idea grows roots out of their shoes and leaves out of their body. Though doubt and fear attend the sprouts’ appearance, it’s clear that further growth will only occur if “you branch out and bloom.” As the child shows off their work, the book’s art becomes more vibrant, blooming across remaining pages as friends of varying skin tones frolic beneath a rainbow—and rain returns with the potential to nourish new seeds. Ages 4–7.  - Publishers Weekly

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