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I Can Be Anything!

Overview

When I grow up, what shall I be?

This exuberant book offers up everything from a paper plane folder to a puppy dog holder, from a silly joke teller to a snowball smoother.

Newbery-Award winning author Jerry Spinelli's simple and charming rhymes are accompanied by internationally-renowned illustrator Jimmy Liao's vibrant and fantastical illustrations. This book is an imaginative joyride about hopes and dreams, and a reminder of all the ...

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Overview

When I grow up, what shall I be?

This exuberant book offers up everything from a paper plane folder to a puppy dog holder, from a silly joke teller to a snowball smoother.

Newbery-Award winning author Jerry Spinelli's simple and charming rhymes are accompanied by internationally-renowned illustrator Jimmy Liao's vibrant and fantastical illustrations. This book is an imaginative joyride about hopes and dreams, and a reminder of all the possibilities life has to offer. So, what do you want to be? Remember—you can be anything!

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The imaginative young boy in this marvelous story has some unusual answers to a frequently asked question. The youngster, clad in overalls and a cap, dreams of being "a pumpkin grower," "puddle stomper," or "silly-joke teller." Both the lilting text and amusing watercolor and acrylic illustrations are full of energy. The boy runs and skips from one adventurous goal to the next, accompanied by rabbits, frogs, and other little creatures. His animal friends gaze at him through the window of a homey kitchen in his future role as a "mixing-bowl licker." When he imagines being a "baby-sis soother," the smiling child is dressed in an elephant costume, and his sister laughs. In the end, on a four-page foldout, the boy decides, "So many jobs!/They're all such fun—/I'm going to choose…/EVERY ONE!" This outstanding book pairs well with Leonid Gore's When I Grow Up (Scholastic, 2009) or Jeanie Franz Ransom's What Do Parents Do? (…When You're Not Home) (Peachtree, 2007).—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
Publishers Weekly
Newbery Medalist Spinelli (My Daddy and Me) again demonstrates his versatility as a writer in this buoyant riff on a familiar theme. “When I grow up, what shall I be?” asks the young narrator, answering this question with blithe, whimsical options, pictured with playful exaggeration in Liao's (The Sound of Colors) energetic watercolor and acrylic art. Accompanied by frolicking bunnies, the boy envisions himself as a “puddle stomper/ apple chomper/ mixing-bowl licker/ tin-can kicker,” among numerous other “professions.” Though often clad in overalls, in some scenarios he wears more fanciful attire, hovering in a butterfly costume as a “honeysuckle smeller” or performing in a clown suit for a sad lion as a “silly-joke teller.” Liao's artwork runs with the simple, evocative phrases, striking a balance between the classic and the contemporary (on many pages, the boy resembles nothing so much as a modern-day Little Boy Blue, yet he's equally comfortable commanding the stage as a jester or magician). It's an uplifting, imaginative vision of life's possibilities that suggests that there are no limits—not even the sky. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
The small child leaping across the opening spread of this book wonders, "Of all the many, many jobs, which one will be best for me?" Each following page offers a possible, alluring way to pass time, ranging from pumpkin grower to dandelion blower, and from honeysuckle smeller to funny joke teller. Five little bunnies help the child try out each possibility, as depicted in Liao's colorful drawings. In the end, the graphics and language-play build up to a double fold-out spread in which the child decides to choose every one of the fun jobs. Preschool teachers are likely to find many ways to use this book to build phonemic awareness and imagination. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews
A young boy wonders aloud to a rabbit friend what he will be when he grows up and imagines some outrageous choices. "Puddle stomper," "bubble gum popper," "mixing-bowl licker," "baby-sis soother" are just some of the 24 inspiringly creative vocations Spinelli's young dreamer envisions in this pithy rhymed account. Aided by Liao's cleverly integrated full-bleed mixed-media illustrations, which radiate every hue of the rainbow, and dynamic typesetting with words that swoop and dive, the author's perspective on this adult-inspired question yields some refreshingly child-oriented answers. Given such an irresistible array of options-"So many jobs! / They're all such fun"-the boy in the end decides, in an exuberant double gatefold, "I'm going to choose . . . / EVERY ONE!"-a conclusion befitting a generation expected to have more than six careers each. Without parents or peers around to corral this carefree child's dreams, the possibilities of being whatever one wants appear both limitless and attainable. An inspired take on a timeless question. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316162265
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 146,460
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli started out wanting to be a cowboy. Luckily for young readers, he later decided to become a "writer," even though he's still not sure he can call himself one (he does other things too, like picking berries and skipping stones). But Jerry seems to be pretty good at this writing thing. His first novel, Space Station Seventh Grade, was published with Little, Brown in 1982, and he won a Newbery Medal for Maniac Magee. Now, 28 novels and 17 grandchildren later, Jerry lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania with his wife, who is also a "writer."

When Jimmy Liao was little he wanted to be several things: a painter, a magician, or a train driver. Eventually he became a painter who tries to create magic with pictures. (And who sometimes still dreams of being a train driver.) He is the author and illustrator of over 32 books that have been translated into nine languages worldwide. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called his first book with Little, Brown, The Sound of Colors, "exuberant." He lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife and daughter.

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