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.