Nov 292021
Cabbage Farmer, Child-Minder, Criminal-Finder – the world is yours to choose from! [Review]
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Book Title: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Author: Jerry Pinto

Illustrator: Ashok Rajagopalan

Publisher: Talking Cub, Speaking Tiger Books

Type: Paperback

Recommended Age: 3-6 years but a must read for adults as well!

What was the one question every single person asked you when you were a kid, and chances are that your child faces that very same question now? “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I dreaded having to answer this question, because I had no clue whatsoever what I wanted to be! In fact, the wonderfully illustrated cover image of a man looking down and asking this question to a boy, was enough to fill me with dread!

The book “What do you want to be when you grow up” is such a delight to read, with the author answering these questions from the perspective of a small boy, in the most hilarious ways possible. Written in rhyming verse, the highlight of the book is that it mentions offbeat options like a cabbage farmer, book binder, archer and child minder instead of the answers that are usually expected from a child. By avoiding the typical doctor and engineer professions, the book helps in normalizing all professions and broadening the horizons of children.

My 4 year old absolutely loved reading the book and enjoyed learning about the different professions mentioned. Some of them were new for us like a census taker and book binder, and there were many new words / places to explore like Cotopaxi and Bolshoi. We’ve read the book several times since we’ve received it, which is the mark of a truly loved book!

However, more than children, I felt it is the adults who need to read this book. In a bid to make our children conform to societal expectations, we often overlook the fact that they are just kids still finding their true happiness. As the author says

“Whatever I’ll be, let me tell you chappy, I plan to be ext-urr-emely happy. Whatever I’ll be, I will be me.”  

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