Review Blog

Dec 11 2015

When I grow up by Andrew Daddo

cover image

Ill. by Jonathan Bentley. ABC Books, 2015. ISBN 9780733333415
(Age: 4+) Recommended, Humour, Vocation, School. When the teacher asks the class what they want to be when they grow up, each child tells of their dreams. One wants to be a hairdresser, snipping those goldie locks, one looks at being an astronaut, one a writer, another a pirate or secret agent.
Each child offers a range of possibilities, dreaming of their future, going off into space, singing on the stage, and each double page introduces their dream, with a following double page showing what may happen to them. Each is very funny, inviting the readers to look more closely at the illustrations drawn with a cheeky child like technique, with lots of quirky additions to seek out. The secret gent for example has a double page where the idea is introduced. The teacher writes the words on the board, the child dons dark glasses and the next page shows a range of disguises he might use, sitting at the mirror. Over the page he opens his raincoat to reveal a range of gadgets, but his Mum comes along and takes him home.
In a couple of double pages the author presents an imaginative recreation of what that career may entail and shows some of the implements used by that worker, while adding a level of humour at the end. Readers will laugh out loud at the techniques used by this boy and learn a little about the work done by secret agents on TV and film. The illustrations underline what is going on in the text, and add familiarity to each section with the class sitting at the blackboard. A laugh out loud read for junior primary classes with Daddo's familiar infectious humour coupled with Bentley's versatile imagination.
Fran Knight

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