Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Turner, S. 2003. GROW UP. New York: Joanna Cotler Books. ISBN 0060009543. [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
The story begins with an adult asking a young boy a “simple” question. “What are you going to be when you grow up?” The boy cannot give just one response. Instead, the youngster describes a variety of occupations he may want to explore when he grows up. Moreover, he may want to be a nurse, a cowboy, an undertaker, and the list goes delightfully on.
The occupation topic has been done before. However, Ms. Turner handles it extremely well. The hero of the story describes many occupations he may want to consider. The text matches the occupation the child discusses. For example, the text goes from bottom to top when the mountain climbing occupation is described. In addition, the text comes out wiggly and tall when the little boy talks about becoming a professional saxophone player. The boy briefly thinks about being a chef. He goes on to envision himself as the fireman putting out the flames of his own cooking. The illustrations are child-like. The art looks like a sketchbook that a child could have the ability to create. Moreover, Ms. Turner’s depiction of what children want to be when they grow up is clever. The readers are engaged as soon as they pick up the book. That is, readers are enthralled from dustcover to end matter. The text and child-like illustrations make this the kind of book that children and adults can enjoy together.
Children could make new dustcovers to go with their favorite books. As discussed, Ms. Turner includes the dustcover as part of the reading material. Children could take old favorites and make new dustcovers that go with and add to the story.
Children could pantomime a career highlighted in the text. The children could choose independently which one to do, or the children could draw the occupation out of a hat.
Other books that can prompt career discussion:
Falconer, Ian. OLIVIA. ISBN 0689829531
Numeroff, Laura. WHAT MOMMIES DO BEST/WHAT DADDIES DO BEST. ISBN 0689805772
Other books that can prompt dustcover discussion:
Scieszka, Jon. THE STINKY CHEESE MAN AND OTHER FAIRLY STUPID STORIES. ISBN 0670035696
By Laura K. Davis