Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Book Review: When I Grow Up, by Leonid Gore (Scholastic Press, 2009)

0-545-08597-7Recommended for ages 2-4

A little boy asks his father what he will be when he grows up, and looks at the world around him for ideas. A raindrop tells him he could be “like me” and become the fastest river; a green sprout, the tallest tree; a caterpillar, the most colorful butterfly in the meadow. As the boy paints the images he sees around him, he ultimately makes his own decision: he will be like his dad. The artwork is a simple and soothing series of acrylics and mixed media, with a single die-cut image in each spread acting as a transition to the next spread. The die cuts may not hold up to repeated use and risk tearing, but the pages are thicker than usual and may last longer than expected with gentler use.  Books that illustrate relationships between fathers and sons are not as common as mothers and sons or mothers and daughters, making this a good book to offer the community.

This would be a great addition to a family read-aloud or a Father’s Day read-aloud, as it features a positive relationship between a father and son. There are great Father’s Day crafts that are easily made available, including Father’s Day picture frames using heavy paper, glue and scissors available on Enchanted Learning’s website. Children can bring pictures from home or can use pictures from old magazines. The author does not have a website, but his publisher has an author page with a biography and the ability to become a “fan”.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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