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on May 10, 2014
From newborn to adult, a child is always the center of their mother's heart. Watch this mother and son duo through the years as their relationship grows and changes. God has unlimited possibilities ahead of a young child and Christian mothers always desire to point their children towards His will and purpose for their lives, whatever that may be.

Whatever You Grow Up to Be by Karen Kingsbury is a 32 page hardback book is written for children ages 4 to 8. It has whimsical illustrations full of color and delight that accompany simple rhymes and Scriptures. Each page shows a new stage in a boy's life as he grows into the man that God designed him to become. His mother is always there as a source of encouragement and support along the way.

I found this book very touching. It pulls on a mother's heartstrings and reminds us that childhood is fleeting and that we only have a short time to be an influence on the young ones that have been entrusted to our care. While this message is clear to parents, there is also an important lesson for children: God has a plan for every single one of us and we should be faithful and true on any path he leads us on.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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on February 19, 2016
I had heard about this at Liberty University and had wanted it to read to my daughter. While I love the concept of the book, it is written for a son, so it was not as special as I had wanted for me and my girl. This would be great for a mother and son though.
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on December 19, 2014
Big fan of Kingsbury's children's books -- and I was equally happy with this one. First-person "mom" narrator speaking her son, and ends with being the "mom" becoming a grandmother after her son is married and has a child. Because it's so specifically geared towards boys, both text and illustrations, I wouldn't recommend it for a girl. It reinforces traditional gender roles, which is fine -- but I do wish that children's books wouldn't always suggest that boys should play football.
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on April 23, 2014
This is a super cute and colorful book for young children, written by one of my personal favorite authors. Whatever You Grow Up to Be is a timeless journey of a mother and son that is captured in the story of a boy’s growth from childhood to fatherhood. From birth to football games to college graduation, a mother reminds her son that life is filled with possibilities and that God has a plan for him – whatever he grows up to be.
The illustrations are colorful and kid-friendly. There is even key Bible versus on each page (age development story) to emphasize that God has a plan for him as well the special bond between a mother and her son.
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on April 15, 2014
About the Book:

'Ten little toes right from the start Make footprints on your mommy's heart!' The timeless journey of a mother and son is poignantly captured in the story of a boy's growth from childhood to fatherhood. From birth to football games to college graduation, a mother reminds her son that life is filled with possibilities and that God has a plan for him---whatever he grows up to be!

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's favorite inspirational novelist, with over 20 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction has produced multiple bestsellers, including Unlocked, Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year.

An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women's groups including Women of Faith. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is married to Christian artist Kyle Kupecky.

My Review:

As touching as those precious moments are with your sweet baby boy, so are the poignant poetry contained in Karen Kingsbury's latest, Whatever You Grow Up To Be. As a mom of three boys, I know how exhausting, chaotic, and downright smelly life with them can be. But I also know about and store deep in my heart those times that they are running at you with a slimy frog because they just want to show you what they were lucky enough to find in the grass as they ran out to play. Or maybe when that sweaty little boy comes running in the house with a handful of wildflowers freshly picked for his favorite person in the whole world, "you". He says, "Momma, I have a 'prize' for you!". Standing there holding his flowers out to you with clumps of soil still attached.

Whatever You Grow Up To Be, speaks about the love that a mother has for her son. It shows us that while its sad that they must grow up and leave us one day. We will trust God and accept the path He has chosen for them.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review for my participation in the Z Blog Squad.
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on April 12, 2014
Whatever You Grow Up to Be, written by Karen Kingsbury and illustrated by Valeria Docampo, is a delightful little book that tells the journey of a mother and her boy from the time he is a little baby until he is married with a baby of his own.

A mother's love is like no other. When a tiny baby comes into her life, a Mom has no idea how this little guy will change her life. But as Karen Kingsbury writes, "Ten little toes right from the start, make footprints on your mommy's heart!"

In this book, as the boy grows, a variety of possible future occupations are seen, all of which are viewed by the mother's watchful eye. She has no way of knowing how the story of his life will actually play, but her love will support him in whatever he grows up to be.

The book cycles around through his life and ends with him getting married and having a baby boy of his own. Once again, the mother discovers that those "Ten little toes, right from the start make footprints on his grandma's heart."

The illustrations are bright and colorful and would be attractive to a child's eyes. Children can identify with the occupations this little boy is "trying out". Each two-page spread also includes a verse of Scripture. The only slight downside to this book is that the verses are very small and in
a light print. I almost missed them!

Since my "baby boy" is getting married in July, I read through this book with tears in my eyes. Time goes by so quickly and I found myself reminiscing as I saw my own little boy in many of situations. I was pleased to see a mother portrayed as a loving and supportive person throughout her child's life. I would recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest review.
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on March 17, 2014
Warning: read this book with tissues on hand.

I've been a fan of Karen Kingsbury's writing for years, and her voyage into the world of children's books has certainly not been disappointing. Her latest release, Whatever You Grow Up to Be, is a beautiful storybook that tells the tale of a mom watching her precious little boy dream and imagine his way through childhood.

The rhyming words are almost lyrical and take readers - old and young - along on the journey of this family. From learning to walk, to building forts and rescuing backyard friends in a firetruck, all the way to graduation and college, this book is colorful and fun, but nostalgic at every turn.

I'm in the place of the mom in the first few pages - my kids have already learned to walk, but we are deep in the years of fort-building and backyard shenanigans. Even though I know time is going fast, it's easy to become frustrated when the days seem long. Picture books like this one make me cherish the moments I am spending with my little ones - because whether it's always obvious or not, the time is fleeting. I can't read this story without tearing up.

The illustrations by Valeria Docampo are beautiful and inspiring. We will treasure this book for years to come - and maybe someday, when the pages are well-worn and the cover is ripped, I will read it with my grandchildren. And like the mom in the story, I will know with absolute certainty that these precious moments of childhood flew by too quickly.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for my review sample of this book. I received no compensation for posting a review and all views expressed are my own.
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on March 17, 2014
Whatever You Grow Up to Be by Karen Kingsbury, illustrated by Valeria Docampo, is a children's book about the journey of a mother watching her son grow up, all the way from childhood to fatherhood. She sees the possibilities of her son, and watches as God's plan for him unravels, it's a truly touching read.

It's cute that the mama in the book is saying her son "whatever you grow up to be" yet giving options based on things the little boy does at that age. It's a sweet book and a little reminder that your baby is growing up, and it happens faster then we know. I really love the illustrations that were done, and it really portrays what little boys are like. I feel like the story ended too abrupt though. It was cute to throw in that the little boy had a baby of his own and the mama turned into grandma, with excitement in seeing her grandbaby grow too, but I wasn't ready for the story to end. I feel it could have been a little bit longer, but that might just be, because it was too cute to end. It made me feel sentimental, as I am a mama, watching my little boy grow, seeing the possibilities he is becoming, and the young man he is turning into. This would make a great keepsake book! A special gift to an expecting mom of a little boy.

(Each page has a Bible verse listed on the bottom, my favorite verse was the one the book was ended on:
"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 )

*I received a complimentary book in exchange for my review. All opinions my own.
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on April 1, 2014
Whatever You Grow up to Be

Author: Karen Kingsbury and
Illustrations: Valeria Docampo

From New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, a new children’s book about a very special mother-son relationship. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury explores with heartwarming clarity the special bond between a mother and her son. From birth to football games to college graduation, the mother reminds her maturing child of God’s promises for him—whatever he grows up to be. A companion piece to Kingsbury’s Always Daddy’s Princess, a picture book about one father’s love for his daughter as she matures from baby to parent herself, Whatever You Grow Up to Be will remind young boys and their moms of all the blessings they share. Told in playful and emotive verse—with a whisper of Scripture enriching every page—children and parents will find fun and encouragement in the supportive guidance of God’s word.

I have read Karen Kingsbury books for years and when I saw this book as a choice, I had to read it. I love picture books and when this book arrived, I saw immediately that the pictures were bright and large to catch the eye. Then I set down to read it and was drawn to the story of the mom and her son. Being the mom to three boys I could easily relate to the story. It was a sweet story of a mother and son’s love and the circle of life. As a mom and grandmother, I could easily relate to the story and it was very sweet. Karen Kingsbury once again did not disappoint. She is a master story teller and always tells a wonderful story. Although I do not recommend this book for a toddler, my granddaughter did let me read it to her. The pictures are perfect for her, but the storyline is for an older child. This book is perfect for gift giving and special occasions, and can serve as a treasured keepsake as well as a compelling reminder of the influence a loving mother can have in the life of her son.
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on March 25, 2014
"Whatever You Grow Up to Be" is a beautiful book written in rhyme, a mother talking to her son from the time of his birth throughout his growing seasons, ultimately concluding as her son becomes a father. The poetry begins with the mother's joy from the moment her son is born, and proceeds through the milestones of her son's life, and her love and support at every stage. As she tells him about those milestones she encourages and cheers her son forward, and shows acceptance for whatever her son decides to be, explaining that God has plans for him. Each segment throughout the book contains a well-chosen scriptural reading appropriate to the sentiments involved, enhancing the spiritual aspects of this wonderful book.

The is an over-sized hardcover book that is beautifully written and illustrated! Not only that, it is spiritually enriching and encouraging. Although poignant, as time passes by so swiftly through "the son's" life, the reading is positive and superbly written. As I read through this book I felt strong emotions at every stage of the boy's life, and the support and encouragement that is revealed as "the mother" talks to her child. I will be giving this book to my daughter who is expecting twin boys in a couple of months. This is a book that should be in the libraries of all mothers of sons!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
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