I WANT TO BE AN ASTRONAUT by Ruby Brown

I WANT TO BE AN ASTRONAUT

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A board book attempts to answer the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

These are not everyday occupations: a race car driver, a stuntman, an archaeologist, a submarine commander. The viewpoint alternates between a blonde girl and a dark-haired boy, which is a nice nod to gender diversity, but the book fails shockingly on ethnic inclusion—both children are white. In I Want to Be a Lion Tamer, published simultaneously, which presents the same two children imagining careers with animals, the girl is often shown in caregiver roles (pet groomer, dog walker), while the boy's career choices are more action-oriented (animal rescue, safari guide). Both books have three lines of text per page describing the adventures each job offers before the refrain, “Or maybe I want to be....” Vague adjectives like “awesome” and “really cool” are wasted opportunities to add information. The text is somewhat longer than the attention spans of most board-book listeners, and though written from the child's viewpoint, with terms like “blockbuster action movie,” the language sounds like an adult speaking. Despite the title, astronaut is the last choice before the book ends with the assurance, “I can be any of these things, but I don't need to decide just yet.”

This will fill curricular demand, but don't expect it to launch any astronaut's career. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61067-406-5
Page count: 22pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016




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