From funeral clown to cheese sculptor, a tally of atypical trades.
This free-wheeling survey, framed as a visit to “The Great Hall of Jobs,” is designed to shake readers loose from simplistic notions of the world of work. Labarre opens with a generic sculpture gallery of, as she puts it, “The Classics”—doctor, dancer, farmer, athlete, chef, and the like—but quickly moves on, arranging busy cartoon figures by the dozen in kaleidoscopic arrays, with pithy captions describing each occupation. As changes of pace she also tucks in occasional challenges to match select workers (Las Vegas wedding minister, “ethical” hacker, motion-capture actor) with their distinctive tools or outfits. The actual chances of becoming, say, the queen’s warden of the swans or a professional mattress jumper, not to mention the nitty-gritty of physical or academic qualifications, income levels, and career paths, are left largely unspecified…but along with noting that new jobs are being invented all the time (as, in the illustration, museum workers wheel in a “vlogger” statue), the author closes with the perennial insight that it’s essential to love what you do and the millennial one that there’s nothing wrong with repeatedly switching horses midstream. The many adult figures and the gaggle of children (one in a wheelchair) visiting the “Hall” are diverse of feature, sex, and skin color.
Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book. 7-9)