Little Lily asks her beloved grandma, “What do you think you’ll be when you grow up?”
The conversation that results from this turnabout question is full of wonderful imaginings and earnest wishes that will enchant many young readers. As Lily dreams up possible vocations, Grandma always replies with a gentle response that is ever respectful of her granddaughter’s suggestions. Perhaps Grandma could “grow wings and fly around the world…[o]r become an artist and paint rainbows on children’s faces…[or] a gardener and grow flowers that never die,” or even “a fairy with a magic wand who stops rooms from getting messy.” While Newman paces the text with a steady flow of quiet yet enthusiastic dialogue, it is Chichester Clark’s detailed illustrations in watercolor and pencil that truly shine. This grandma is not a stout gray-haired lady but a spunky, lithe, bespectacled brunette who happily takes part in every flight of fancy—sometimes decked out in feathers or looking quite fetching in everything from butterfly wings to a wizard hat—until it is time for bed. Young readers will take the cue from this slightly silly tale and enjoy coming up with their own ideas for what their grandparents or other family members might grow up to become.
Ideal as a beginning exploration of fantasy or as a discussion starter about future careers. (Picture book. 3-5)