Review Blog

May 31 2018

When I'm older by Isa Flory, Neil Flory and Somak Choudhary

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760296322
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Growing up. Choices. A lump of blue clay is moulded on each page to make a different thing. 'I can be a goat, a boat, a penguin in a coat', is the beginning rhyming pair of lines. Each pair that follows begins with the same refrain, 'I can be a...', encouraging children to learn the introductory line and anticipate through the vibrant illustrations, what words come next.
An array of options for the lump of clay is presented, each eliciting a laugh from the readers as the clay moulds itself into the idea presented. With a pair of little eyes and a bare handful of attachments, the lump of clay becomes many things: a goat, a bed, fish on a bike, an unruly mop of hair, a ball, a wall and so on, while on the last two pages, children will be encouraged to give names to the things illustrated without text. This is a delightful introduction to that age old question, 'what will I be' and discounts the idea that you must be something, offering instead a huge range of things to consider, ensuring the reader will see that the lump of clay is quite happy being itself.
The illustrations will bring smiles to all the faces who read this book, and the text suitably asks the implied question of what they will be when they grow up, making sure everyone is happy with what they are right at this moment. And that is the most important thing.
Fran Knight

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