An uneven but encouraging approach to envisioning future careers.

ADVENTURES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS

Three children use a magic watch to dream about their futures in this picture book.

TJ, James, and Ann find a legendary golden watch that’s said to “let you choose your own future” by squeezing it and asking themselves, “What do you really love doing? What would make you happy? How can you help the world?” James dreams of being a famous leader or a teacher; TJ of becoming a rich CEO or an architect; and Ann wants to become an important scientist who saves lives or an Army general. The children realize they can make their own futures, and despite their childhood choices, as adults, James becomes a doctor, Ann a judge, and TJ the president. The closing message is, “never give up and always believe in yourself.” In his debut book, Edmonds offers a positive message to kids considering future careers that emphasizes dreaming big. While there’s value in high expectations, the book underemphasizes the toil required in achieving goals and overemphasizes qualities like fame, popularity, heroism, and wealth. The writing can be clumsy or confusing: James and Ann find the watch, but the book credits TJ’s “luck and hard work” for its discovery, and errors need a cleanup. The illustrations are lively and expressive, with rather geometric backgrounds, and depict diverse characters; TJ and James are black, and Ann is pale-skinned.

An uneven but encouraging approach to envisioning future careers.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73200-085-8

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Suits For Seniors

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2019

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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I AM NOT GOING TO GET UP TODAY!

After an eight-year interval, a Beginner Book by this well-loved originator of the series is welcome; and since Seuss hasn't chosen to illustrate it himself, we are lucky to have Stevenson as alternate. In the familiar Seuss pattern of a simple premise exaggerated to comic effect, a boy declares, "My bed is warm. My pillow's deep. Today's the day I'm going to sleep"—regardless of his mother, various arguments, successive waves of reinforcements, including the Marines, and a TV crew filming the momentous event. Actually, the development of the idea is a little tame compared with Seuss' other extravaganzas (and such determined all-day slumber is more the province of teen-agers and the good doctor's contemporaries than of readers at this level); but the book is delightfully enlivened by Stevenson's vigorous illustrations, which considerably augment the text by showing the full extent of the consternation caused by the hero's stubborness. Though there is plenty of the repetition required by learning readers, there are also some unusual words like Memphis, suggesting that this is not the easiest easy reader; but it has enough appeal to keep beginners entertained.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1987

ISBN: 0394892178

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1987

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