Whatever You Grow Up to Be is a Christian children’s book (ages 3-5) that is about all the possibilities that a young boy’s future holds. (There is companion book geared towards girls.) The story follows a boy’s life from a child to an adult, talking about how he could grow up to be whatever his interest is at that particular age (firefighter, football player, musician, etc.) and how he can be a godly man in many different ways.
The illustrations are very colorful and lively, and my almost-4-year-old son particularly enjoyed seeing the family pets on each page, which bring a little extra humor to the drawings. I liked that one of the “if that’s what you grow up to be” scenarios was being a dad, since that’s my son’s current answer when I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. (Then he slightly revised his answer to be a “poppa dentist.” Poppa is what he calls my dad…and then I died of cute.)
Based on the title, I was hoping for something exploring some more unique professions, not just a standard little kid playing firefighter –> teen playing football –> college kid majoring in business. Interestingly, the last page of the book has some wonderful illustrations of men in all different kinds of interesting professions — chef, astronaut, farmer etc. — so I wonder if that angle was considered at some point during the writing or editing of the book. I would have also liked to see some diversity in the people illustrated in this book.
Overall, I give it 3 out of 5 stars. My son has asked to read it more than once, but he mostly loves the illustrations. This book seems to be written mostly for the parent reading the story to appreciate, rather than for the child listening to it. For example, the story ends with the mom in the story (now a grandma) helping her son’s baby take his first steps. I think that’s a little overly sentimental for most 4 year olds to appreciate.