Kevin Green’s picture book, When I Grow Up, introduces readers to a variety of careers, giving them the opportunity to discover their own dreams for the future.
Structured around a repeating phrase, “When I grow up…,” each two-page spread shows a child dreaming of a certain job. It then offers a simple description of that job and a large, colorful illustration depicting the child acting in that role. One page reads: “When I grow up…Scott said I want to be a police officer. So I can keep kids safe.” Another: “When I grow up…Mikey said I want to be an astronaut. So I can go into space.” The accompanying illustrations show the first child dressed as a police officer and the second in an astronaut suit standing on the moon.
The simple prose, large type, and repetition are ideal for young audiences. The information presented is distilled to the most basic description of each career choice, leaving lots of room for questions and discussion.
When I Grow Up offers a nice range of careers that require varying levels of education, from scientist to truck driver. This balance of both white- and blue-collar positions may allow children to identify adults from their own lives in the pages. Likewise, the illustrations represent a racially diverse cast of children.
Some audiences, however, may be disappointed with the balance of genders, as there are seven boys represented and only three girls. Additionally, the prose is strangely punctuated, lacking necessary quote marks and making an odd use of ellipses.
Those who can overlook such issues will find that Green’s picture book is a bright and basic introduction to the adult world, and provides identifiable phrases and vocabulary for those just starting to read.
Also available in hardcover.