The unnamed and unseen narrator in this German import introduces readers to the jobs of 30 family members and friends.
Three to six sentences on the bottom sixth of each page introduce each person and summarize what their job entails. The careers range widely, from a mechanical engineer, astronaut, and architect (all women!) to a gardener, brewer, and tattoo artist. But the author goes overboard with adjectives: Auntie Tokiko is a farmer. “She gets up very early…to feed her charming cows, clucking chickens, gregarious goats, and gigantic pigs.” And some descriptions are unclear: “When a person might have done something wrong, [lawyer uncle Ben] looks at every little detail and helps them (and the judge) decide what to do.” Ryski’s illustrations have a stylized, posterlike aesthetic. The retro palette is limited to black, white, pink, brown, mustard yellow, orange, green, and a dusky blue. Faces are reminiscent of Lego minifigure faces: expressions and even facial features are mostly the same throughout, whether male or female, with hairstyles and facial hair sometimes differentiating people. The narrator’s sister and grandmother are on facing pages, and aside from one having wavy hair and one having straight, they might be twins; there is no visible age difference, and their faces are identical. Skin tones are either brown or pink.
With its wide range of jobs and commendable gender balance, this will have a place in classrooms despite the rather odd language. (Informational picture book. 3-9)