Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When I Grow Up

The Olympics are over. That, however does not mean inspiration is gone. Spring is approaching and bookstore shelves will soon be loaded with stories about Easter, new birth, graduation, and spring fun. Colors will pop off the shelves and everybody will walk around with smiles on their faces singing, "Oh What A Beautiful Morning." What? Too much? You get the idea, hope springs eternal and all that. The winter doldrums are wafting away and spring is approaching with joyful exuberance.

By Jerry Spinelli
Illustrated by Jimmy Liao
For Ages 3 - 10
"I Can Be Anything!" is a whimsical story, perfect for anyone who wants to get excited by the possibilities and believe there are no limits. You can be anything. Rated 4.5 (whimsy, energetic, vibrant, hopeful) 

Newberry award winning author Jerry Spinelli leaves the young adult and preteen novels behind to write a rousing picture book about dreams and inspiration. "I Can Be Anything!" takes a look at the common theme of growing up, but adds a little twist.

Our young hero is lazing in a spring meadow with his bunny when he begins to ponder all the things he will be when he grows up. Will he be a fireman, a policeman, an astronaught, or scientist? Not this fellow. He's more likely to be a "puddle stomper," a "silly-joke teller," or a "paper airplane folder." The whimsical career options are brought to life with short, rhyming text and an illustrative zest rivaled only by our narrator's excitement.

Liao uses both watercolor and acrylic to illuminate some of life's most fanciful jobs as the little boy, decked out in blue overalls, exchanges his attire for an elephant costume, a jester's bells, or even butterfly wings when the moment is right.

This is a great book for reading aloud during stoytime. A sticker on the front cover suggests, "I Can Be Anything!" is "perect for graduation." I will take it a step further and say its perfect for anyone who wants to get excited by the possibilities and believe there are no limits.


  1. My kids have really enjoyed it. BTW, checkout the new community, http://www.bookbag.ning.com. I'm sure you would have plenty to offer.