I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't
I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't

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Annotation: Zoe is sure that she can be anything she wants to be, despite a little voice of doubt that points out the problems with her ideas; but first she needs to learn how to read.
Catalog Number: #158538
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-16690-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0822-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-16690-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0822-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017003956
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Zoe is a young girl with big ambitions. She has confidence that she can do and be whatever she wants when she grows up. However, Zoe has a small voice of doubt that creeps into her daydreams of adventure and fulfillment. When she considers a career as a veterinarian, the voice asks, "What if they bite you?" When she thinks about being a traveling archaeologist: "What if you get homesick?" Zoe answers the self-doubts with assurance that "I can be anything!" Caldecott medalist Dillon's signature artwork depicts Zoe ill a child rforming the duties of each mentioned career choice in mainly single-page vignettes. More than 15 career choices are mentioned, including teacher, librarian, president, and chef. Illustrations reveal the young girl in a classroom, teaching students the alphabet; standing at a podium with a "Zoe for President" poster on the wall behind her; and in an apron and chef's hat, holding a book titled Zoe's Recipes. This entertaining and informative title will encourage children to consider the many opportunities the future holds.
Publishers Weekly
The title of Caldecott Medalist Dillon-s first solo outing sounds as if it-s about dreaming big, but its real focus is on quieting the internal voice that undermines those dreams. -I-m a bird. I can fly way up high,- announces a girl named Zoe; she has brown skin, curly hair, and striped leggings. -What if you fall?- taunts the voice. -I won-t fall,- Zoe replies stoutly. She dreams of being an astronaut (Dillon paints her sharing cupcakes with an alien), an archaeologist, an inventor, and a veterinarian who has just bandaged a tiger-s paw. The main scenes, full of incident and detail, are framed by thick white borders, in which small vignettes show Zoe playing at what she wants to become-cooking on her toy stove or digging in the sand. As the pages turn, she gets braver: -You-re just a voice, and I don-t have to listen to you.- And she knows where her priorities are: -First I have to learn to read!- Armed with Zoe-s retorts, readers will grasp how their own doubts trip them up-and how to tell them to hush up. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Dillon offers a simple yet poignant reflection on the power of positive thinking. Zoe declares, "I can be anything I want to be"from an archaeologist to a veterinarian, a musician, a famous chef, and more. Yet each time she imagines the possibility, a little voice, presumably her own, challenges her aspiration: "What if you get homesick?" "What if they bite you?" "What if you don't have talent?" Zoe's steadfast determination prevails until she finally concludes that learning to read and then reading a lot will pave the way to her success. Dillon's watercolor illustrations are stylistically familiar, but have a notably softer quality than her previous works. Absent are the formerly characteristic dark lines and extravagant details. The muted tones complement the imaginative playfulness of the young child's ruminations. Each page features a portrait-style painting of Zoe as ornithologist, inventor, firefighter, etc., an ample white border that supports the text, and small corner pictures of Zoe in the midst of make-believe. VERDICT This inspiring selection will appeal to both kids and teachers who are looking for a book with a message of empowerment. A useful addition to picture book collections. Lynn Van Auken, Oak Bluffs School, MA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A young girl of color challenges the voice of fear and dissent in Dillon's first solo picture book.Readers are introduced to Zoe with her arms stretched wide as she declares, "I can be anything I want to be." As she stands in the bordering white space, Zoe contemplates becoming a bird, and her exuberant vision of the possibility of flight fills the center of the spread. But down in the opposite corner, quiet but insistent, a little voice asks, "What if you fall?" When Zoe imagines becoming an archaeologist and unearthing dinosaurs, the voice insists that she is too little for such things. The entire book progresses thus, with Zoe imagining a possible feat or future for herself as a small, doubting voice questions her—but not once does Zoe give way. In response to "What if you fall?" Zoe confidently insists that she won't fall and can always fly in a rocket ship; when the voice sneers that she is too little, Zoe counters immediately: "No, I'm not. I'm bigger than you." Although skewed toward an adult perspective, Dillon's prose leaves readers in no doubt of Zoe's determination, and while the nagging voice is present throughout the book, the illustrations of Zoe's dreams take up far more literal and figurative space than her self-doubt. Pair this with Molly Bang and Ann Stern's When Sophie Thinks She Can't… (2018) for the ultimate in can-do power.Thoughtful and affirming. (Picture book. 4-8)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (12/1/17)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (1/1/18)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 553
Reading Level: 3.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 193834 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD600L
Guided Reading Level: V

Perfect for graduation!

Zoe embraces all the wonders of our world and its infinite possibilities. "I can be anything I want to be!" she tells us, presenting herself in a range of careers. "But what if you fail?" asks a voice of doubt that attempts to undermine her confidence.

Bold and sassy, Zoe swats the voice away at every turn, declaring her certainty with a charisma that will encourage us all to silence our fears. Why can't a girl grow up to be President? Zoe can! When the voice of doubt continues, Zoe knows exactly what to say:

"Go away, voice... I can be anything... but first, I have to learn to read. And don't tell me I can't!"

Caldecott Award-winner Diane Dillon has created a winning character who defies anything to hold her back from achieving her goals. And the key to Zoe's future success begins when Zoe defiantly opens her book, making it clear that both confidence and reading are tools we all need to make our dreams come true.


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