The overall concept for Otis Grows was dreamt up not by the author or illustrator, but by Kathryn Hast's dad. Over a BLT sandwich one afternoon, he described a weird dream that he'd had the night before. In the dream, there were chickens with boxing gloves, called the Nuh-Uh-Uhs, and they were fighting with flowers who wore boots, called the Yes-Indeedy-Dos. Kathryn penned the first draft of Otis Grows inside a Father's Day card as a joke in 2010, but did not seriously look into finding an illustrator until April of 2016. Over the years, some characters evolved, and some were added, but it all began with boxing gloves and boots.
Cast of Characters:
As the son of a chicken and a flower, Otis feels like he doesn't fit in. Almost every kid at some point will feel the same way, and especially when families are having growing pains, it can be difficult to know where to turn or what to believe. Otis represents the many layers of development that is required with every stage of aging, and he challenges us to consider what would happen if we cut to our core.
They squawk. They push. And they often resist, but so do all reformers. The Nuh-Uhs want what most of us do: to see the world around us change for the better. Their methods may be flawed, but they have courage and heart. Even in the wake of failure or loss, the Nuh-Uhs show us the value of persistence. They may never fly, but they always will flap. They will try.