When I Grow Up

Overview

This innovative book takes an alternative look at 12 occupations and the people who fill them. It's aim is to open up children's imaginations to the possibility that there are many more roles open to them than they may think. It doesn't just simply depict male nurses, female engineers and similar familiar sterotype-busting examples, but more broad-ranging examples of unusual people doing unusual jobs, such as Sikh lollipop man, a female clown and a black British Space Scientist. Benjamin Zephaniah's lyrical and ...

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Overview

This innovative book takes an alternative look at 12 occupations and the people who fill them. It's aim is to open up children's imaginations to the possibility that there are many more roles open to them than they may think. It doesn't just simply depict male nurses, female engineers and similar familiar sterotype-busting examples, but more broad-ranging examples of unusual people doing unusual jobs, such as Sikh lollipop man, a female clown and a black British Space Scientist. Benjamin Zephaniah's lyrical and amusing text also draws on his own experience of being stereotyped and misjudged because of the colour of his skin and the stle of his hair. Prodeepta Das is a master of photographing people in everyday situations and he brings to this project all the skill that made We Are Britain such an outstanding book. Jobs featured: Lollipop man, Clown, Space Scientist, Laywer, Concervational, Farmer, Vet, Pilot, Illustrator, Chef, Museum Director, Architect.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Each spread contains a paragraph and a poem about a person in a specific career. The author has chosen a wide range of jobs, from rocket scientist to crossing guard. The people highlighted represent a variety of races, and about equal numbers of men and women. Some are better known than others, such as children's book illustrator Anthony Browne and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. The information about an individual is brief, but what there is, is interesting. In contrast, Zephaniah's poems are all rather lengthy for the target audience and add little insight or information. Most of the selections rhyme, but some are forced or awkward, like "morning" and "yawning." Average-quality photographs show the individuals and their workplaces. Color backgrounds with appropriate graphical silhouettes add some interest. Jessica Loy's When I Grow Up (Holt, 2008) also features a variety of people in different careers, but instead of poems it has additional interesting facts about each profession and is a better choice unless a library is specifically looking for career-related poetry.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Zephaniah answers that oft-asked adult inquiry, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with 13 examples of everyday grown-ups following their dreams. His light yet substantial rhymed lyrics and Das' engaging workplace photographs spotlight a wonderfully provocative array of career options. From Maggie the rocket scientist --"all that Maggie wants to do is / Tour the universe"--to Ness the jumbo-jet pilot, David the farmer or Shami the lawyer--"Nobody should bully you, / Shami knows that this is true"--these verse portraits depict actual professionals who not only love what they do, but whose work enriches the lives of others. American readers may be challenged by a few Briticisms from the likes of Bubblz the "Maths Clown," vet Michelle--"If your dog is dodgy / Or your snake is sloppy / Michelle can fix it with a pill"--or, most hilariously, Ajmer the "Lollypop Man," whom American children should easily recognize as a crossing guard, not a purveyor of sweets. Such cultural linguistic differences only heighten the great ethnic, gender and vocational diversity of the collection, offering countless jumping-off points for discussion. In the short bios accompanying the poems and photos, Zephaniah also smartly expands the range of future possibilities to include living in more than one place and the freedom to change your mind a number of times about careers. A bold, inspiring work for forward-thinking early readers. (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847800596
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 975,010
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Zephaniah is the author of many books including J is for Jamaica and We are Britain for Frances Lincoln. He is one of Britain's best-known poets for both adults and children and is highly popular as a performer and broadcaster. He lives near Stamford, Lincolnshire.
Prodeepta Das was born in Cuttack, in eastern India. He is a freelance photographer and author whose pictures have been published in over 20 children's books. In 1991 Inside India, which he also wrote, won the Commonwealth Photographer's Award. Prodeepta's books for Frances Lincoln are P is for Pakistan (9781847800893), Prita Goes to India (9781845074302), K is for Korea (9781847801333), We are Britain!, Geeta's Day (9780711220249), I is for India (9781845073206), J is for Jamaica, Kamal Goes to Trinidad (9781847800428), P is for Poland (9781845079178) and B is for Bangladesh (9781845079185), R is for Russia (9781847801029) and S is for South Africa (9781847800183). He lives in East London.

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Read an Excerpt

Maggie does Rocket Science

She makes robots that go to space To take a look at Mars.
And instruments like telescopes To see beyond the stars.
At school she really likes science,
Her interests were diverse,
And now all that she wants to do is Tour the universe.

The satellites she makes have shown How our climate is changing,
Experiments have shown the earth needs us To start behaving.
We all know that the time is now But Maggie Aderin wants to know When did this time begin?

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