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I Can Be Anything! Hardcover – March 17, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316162264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316162265
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Spinelli takes the common theme of kids wondering what to be when they grow up and gives it a charming twist. In rhyming phrases a young boy considers: “When I grow up, what shall I be? / Of all the many, many jobs, which one will be the best for me? Pumpkin grower / dandelion blower / paper-plane folder / puppy-dog holder.” Spinelli’s cunning touch is that all of the possibilities are things a kid can do right now, without having to go through all the pesky waiting of growing up. A gatefold at the end provides the solution: he is going to choose every one of them! The exuberant, larger-than-life watercolor-and-acrylic illustrations evoke the whimsy of the imagined scenarios and include a troupe of rabbits that appears somewhere on each page. A simple concept wonderfully executed. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Julie Cummins

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
My 4 year old son enjoys this book.
Playful Mom
This book is sure to get some chuckles both because of it's great rhymes and it's colorful illustrations.
J.Prather
I CAN BE ANYTHING is a fun book that youngsters will choose to return to again and again.
Gail Cooke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As we all know most youngsters have vivid imaginations. They can think of all sorts of things, and often may wonder about growing up. What will they be when they are adults - a fireman? A nurse? A soldier? A model?

I CAN BE ANYTHING is an affirming, encouraging book reminding young ones that the possibilities are limitless. They can be anything they want to be. Jerry Spinelli's lilting rhymes answer the question, "What will I be when I grow up" with such imaginative suggestions as "Pumpkin grower, Dandelion blower;" "Deep-hole digger, Lemonade swigger," and more.

Many will elicit smiles while all remind of the infinite possibilities life holds.

Bold colored exuberant illustrations by Jimmy Liao accompany each rhyme, always emphasizing the joy in whatever is being done.

I CAN BE ANYTHING is a fun book that youngsters will choose to return to again and again.

- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a great read aloud for the preschool set! I asked a group of 3 to 5 year olds what they wanted to be when they grew up and received a variety of answers from them; one said a dentist, two girls said ballerinas and one cutie I think said he wanted to be a bear. Nobody said they wanted to be a "puppy holder" or a "snowball smoother", or a "tin can kicker" or a "mixing bowl licker". Those are just a few of the hilarious options in this book.

This book is sure to get some chuckles both because of it's great rhymes and it's colorful illustrations. Every kid can identify with being a "puddle stomper" - it's nice that they realize there are lot's of "jobs" they can do really well right now. Any "ear to ear grinners" out there?

This book has a sticker on the front that says it's great for graduates, and sure it gives a nice sentiment for people just starting out on their careers, but it's an even better book for little kids who might need a reminder of all the fun things they can do now. Don't miss sharing this one with your little ones, either as a group read or one on one so you can really relish all those energetic illustrations. HUGE RECOMMEND.
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Format: Hardcover
A little boy lay in the grass dreamily looking up to a bird in the sky. He sat up, put on his straw hat, and asked a bunny, "When I grow up, what shall I be?" He began to run and several bunnies began to hop through the grass. There are so many jobs, but he was wondering which one he would do. Perhaps he would grow some BIG pumpkins or maybe he could sit on a rock and blow on dandelions. Maybe he would be great as a "paper-plane folder" or a "puppy-dog holder." It was going to be hard to decide what he would be best at.

He could stomp through puddles with ducks or chomp on apples. Little boys are very good at licking bowls and kicking cans. Clunk, clunk! He could hop like a bunny or become a "bubble gum popper." He could be a "snowball smoother / baby-sis soother / gift unwrapper / jump and clapper / cheek-to-cheek grinner / dizzy-dance spinner." There are so many interesting things
that a boy could grow up to be, but what would he choose?

This vibrant, rollicking, rhythmical tale will delight all the young readers who want to grow up to be bubble gum poppers. The tale was very lively and the rhyming pattern didn't miss a beat. The artwork is bright, bold and sure to please. It will be very difficult for the reader to choose a favorite page or pages, but one thing I do know and that will be that is would be a perfect story or circle time book or a kindergarten graduation gift!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JBebe VINE VOICE on July 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is cute, fun and imaginative. Honestly, the first time I read it I was a little disappointed. The book talks about all the many things you can be when you grow up, then talks about "jobs" like "apple chomper,"barefooted hopper,"jump and clapper" and "lemonade swigger." I'll be honest, I thought it was kind of weird. But, my two-year-old son really enjoyed it - it is a great one to read aloud, thanks to the fun rhymes.

The best part of this book are the colorful, imaginative illustrations. They remind me of Mary Engelbreit's illustrations in her books, like Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses. They are very fun to look at!

Overall, this book was so-so for me, but I do admit it is growing on me...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Playful Mom on April 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 4 year old son enjoys this book. I read it to his preschool class and the kids giggled with all the possible things that are suggested you could be. It's a great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aunt Cindy on December 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book for teaching toddlers to dream about what they might do/be someday. The book, which is well written and colorful, stirs the child's imagination in a beneficial, positive way, which videos and TV do not do nearly as well as books. Also, the person reading the book to the child becomes their cheerleader and an added reinforcement that the child can be anything!
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More About the Author

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.

Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."

On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

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