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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
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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.