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The Wonderful Things You Will Be Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS—Childhood is a time full of potential, and Martin celebrates this promise in this work. The general premise of Dr. Seuss's classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go is pared down to elegant simplicity. "Will you stand up for good/By saving the day?/Or play a song only you/Know how to play?" While the rhyming text falters a bit in spots, the word choice overall is spare, inspiring, and accessible to preschoolers. Children are encouraged to be kind, clever, and bold, to take care of the small, and to help things grow. Martin's oil paintings have the same retro, mid-century feel as her other illustrations, with large-eyed children of many ethnicities playing, gardening, and sharing together. VERDICT A go-to gift for new parents, and a potential bedtime favorite for many children.—Martha Link Yesowitch, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC
“Her children are so serious… and so unflappable… that they convey not just hope for the future, but a sense of manifest destiny.” — Publishers Weekly starred review
“Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin's text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart.”
—Kirkus starred review
Top customer reviews
Before even beginning the story, I fell in love with the whimsical illustrations. The pictures are so unique, soft, precious and warm. I found myself so captivated by the magical images on each page that I paused long after the words were read to absorb the beauty and detail. The children in the story are drawn with such care and each one is so individual and incredible. It’s almost too wonderful to keep on the bookshelf and deserves to be framed and hung on the wall.
As I said before, we spend a significant amount of time reading in our family and it’s always a treat to find something completely new and original to add to our collection. Emily Winfield Martin has blessed us with just that. “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” stands out in a category of its own by combining outstanding, one of a kind artistic beauty with an encouraging and heartwarming message. There isn’t another book on our shelf that compares. Her style is truly her own and greets readers with an individual experience they will want to reread over and over again.
The message of the tale is in the voice of a parent to their child. It starts with the parent wondering aloud about who their young child will grow up to be. From the very beginning, it portrays a strong message that, as a parent, they are certain that their child is someone they want to know. Other children’s books do a great job of reassuring love between a parent and child but this adds another beautiful element to that message. Not only does it affirm that the parent will love the child, whoever they grow up to be, but it puts a great deal of excitement on all of the possible ways they can become their very own person. It encourages adventure, taking care of others, individuality, wholesome character traits and creativity. It says to go be everything you were created to be and I will love you with wonder and admiration. What a powerful and uplifting message to children of any age. Heck, what a powerful message for adults!
When reading aloud, it is always enjoyable to be able to read a story with a steady, easy to follow flow. This story is laid out in a comfortable progression of rhyming phrases without being sing-songy. Each page contains a small amount of script while the captivating illustrations tell the story right along with the the written word. The language is vivid, fun and adds character and creativity to this wonderful story.
It Doesn’t Get Old: I like Dr. Suess and admire his work, however, I can only read the tongue twisting silliness so many times before my head starts spinning. How refreshing to have a story that you and your children can enjoy over and over again. My kids have their favorite stories to listen to that aren’t always my favorites to read repeatedly. It’s a blessing to have this book as a family favorite. Each time I turn the page the kids point to the children in the illustrations and pick which one they want to be. It’s an easy choice and enjoyable for all us.
“The Wonderful Things You Will Be” has become my go to baby shower gift. The last mom-to-be I gifted it to admitted to crying the first time she read it. Perhaps it was just the hormones, but I venture to say that she truly appreciated the beauty and sincerity of this wonderful book. Your family library is not complete without this gem. This is a story book I cherish and long to share with every other child I hold dear.
This precious book is such a great tool to help them begin... soft illustrations complementing simple words, a book that encourages a youngster to use his/her imagination and think of all of the possibilities in answering the age old question adults pose to them, "So... what do you want to be when you grow up?" There are SO many things I like about it. Many of the children's books we've accumulated over the years for our grandchildren go into possible occupations - but life is so much more than occupations, isn't it? "Who" you become is so much more than that, and the pages reflect that sentiment with deeper questions, one of my favorites being, "Will you tell a story that only you know?"
You'll find that so many of the pages contain encouraging and supportive statements of belief in a child's capabilities, i.e. "I know you'll be..." (kind/clever/bold/brave/bright), with the last page assuring him/her "And I'll love you, whoever you've grown up to be." I really believe books like this can be so instrumental in promoting a good self-image, as a child's rapidly developing mind soaks in positive messages. Think youngsters will especially enjoy a 2-page spread toward the back that has flaps opening up into a full 4-page spread, with children dressed in various Halloweenish-looking costumes (isn't that what they're actually doing while they're tricking-or-treating... an early testing out imaginative possibilities?), and the diversity of the children depicted is a nice plus.
I doubt there's a parent or grandparent out there who hasn't gazed at the face of a newborn cradled in their arms and not dreamed of "the wonderful things you will be"? At our Christmas gathering this year, it was so terrific for my husband and I to look at all of those beautiful little faces and think about the wonderful things they will all be! This was one of the gifts for our 2+ year old grandson, but I know his two older brothers will enjoy it as well, along with his baby sister one day.