The ABCs of What I Can Be
The ABCs of What I Can Be
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Annotation: Children dress up and imagine what they could be when they grow up--from astronaut to dentist to mathematician to Zumba instructor.
Catalog Number: #172042
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8234-3782-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-8234-3782-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017045485
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Artist, doctor, firefighter, plumber, chef, police officer, soldier, or teacher might appear on many children's lists of potential adult jobs, but what about upholsterer, biochemist, zipper maker, mathematician, oil rigger, or yodeler? This charming occupational exploration ranges from the familiar to the fanciful (though all are actual jobs), suggesting many directions for children to consider. Eight young people, girls and boys with varying skin and hair colors and types, examine a wardrobe and a rack of hanging clothes. As they try on different attire, they move through pages featuring one letter of the alphabet and panels depicting three or four jobs that begin with the corresponding letter. Bright, flat acrylic colors are used to create illustrations that are humorous but not silly. A yarn maker appears physically wrapped up like a skein, Zen gardeners trim bonsai, and ventriloquists perform alongside lawyers, scientists, investors, and ice cream truck drivers. The large variety of activities may provoke serious contemplation about future possibilities, while the funny situations on some pages keep the tone light.
Horn Book
From an African American female CEO to a male nurse, McDonagh's stereotype-defying acrylic illustrations present a balanced mix of gender and race in this diverse and inclusive alphabet book of careers. With three to four careers per letter, the book features traditional jobs (doctor, teacher) alongside less-conventional gigs (ventriloquist, hot-air balloon pilot). An encouraging spin on a classic topic that's sure to give children a sense of possibility.
Kirkus Reviews
Diverse children act out 100 different careers, organized alphabetically from "astronaut" to "Zumba instructor." The layout effectively uses panels to expand the sense of possibility, with, usually, four career alternatives presented per letter/page. L stands for "lawyer," "landscaper," "lifeguard," and, of course, "librarian," for instance. Just four letters—H, J, Q, and Z—are allotted only three choices each. The illustrations employee a flat, naïve perspective and include comic touches. In the P group, a "police officer" (a woman of color) is depicted eating a doughnut. To illustrate "yarn maker," a child with beige skin is wrapped up in yarn like a big spool. As two "groomers" (both children of color) trim a poodle, a cat seems ready to stick the plug for the electric clippers into an inhabited hamster ball. Most of the selections are logical, but a few stretch credulity, at least as careers, such as "yo-yo competitor" and "yodeler." There are four choices for X, but with no legend or explanation, it's up to adult caregivers to help kids understand "xerophytic gardener" and "exobiologist" (they'll probably pick up on "xylophone player" and "X-ray technician" without much difficulty). Overall, the illustrations provide the fun while the selection of jobs makes the book useful, and the vigorous eye to diversity is a real plus.Readers will love choosing their favorite, strangest, or funniest or coming up with their own quirky ideas. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 This alphabet of occupations and hobbies features a diverse cast of children, depicted in appealing panels, exploring jobs spanning from artist to zumba instructor. It opens with the words "ABC, what can I be? Come along and you will see!," which sets the scene. Subsequent spreads feature two letters, each centered on a page, broken into four squares or two squares and one rectangle, with a letter in the center. Each box contains the name of an occupation and depicts two or more of the children from the initial spread involved in the occupation. The children are simply drawn, with round, oversize heads, button noses, and oval eyes. The acrylic painted color palette is saturated with bright colors, and provides an inviting air. The occupations range from the expecteddoctor, firefighter scientist, teacherto the unusualjockey, radio host, web developer, x-ray technicianto the fancifulhot-air-balloon pilot, kite maker, sheep shearer, zen gardener. There's really no story here, it is just an alphabetic encouragement for children to expand their ideas of what they can do in their futures, and, utilizing the diverse cast, it does so effectively. Despite a couple of poor letter choices, the most egregious being "exobiologist" for "x," which seems unnecessary, as there are three other occupations pictured, it is fairly effective and appealing. VERDICT Libraries and schools looking for distinct alphabet books, or ways to introduce various occupations will find this a pleasant addition. Amy Lilien-Harper, Greenwich Library, CT
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/18)
Horn Book (12/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews (12/1/18)
School Library Journal (12/1/18)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2
Lexile: NP

A fun, imaginative, and boldly illustrated book that gets kids thinking about life's possibilities.

A diverse group of children play-acts grown-up occupations, some familiar and others quite far-out. Dressing up in grown-up work clothes, the children try on occupations such as astronaut, artist, archaeologist, and athlete for A and ballerina, beekeeper, biochemist, and bus driver for B to zipper maker, Zumba instructor, and zen gardener for Z.

The book is imaginative and joyful and sends out wonderful messages about exploring possibilities while teaching the ABC's.

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