First, an apology for the lack of updates – I’m not going to lie, this blog has basically been put on the back burner while I navigate the toddlerhood labyrinth with Ariadne’s thread nowhere in sight.
I have many, many books that I’ve added to my kiddo’s bookshelves since my last update, and I do plan to review a good deal of them. However, I just received an order of a few Usborne books so OF COURSE I’m going to do these recent finds first.
My high opinion of Usborne Books is probably apparent through my previous posts, but it’s probably worth repeating that I. LOVE. USBORNE. BOOKS. I’ve said this before, I’m not a consultant,nor do I get anything out of promoting these books. I just happen to appreciate good quality books, and Usborne generally doesn’t disappoint.
The I want to be a(n)… books by Ruby Brown (illustrated by Alisa Coburn) is yet another fantastic set of board books available through Usborne. So far, the only two available are I want to be an ASTRONAUT and I want to be a LION TAMER, and I ordered both. Each book starts with two children playing, and imagining themselves in different vocations.
Each I want to be… book revolves around a theme. For example, I want to be a LION TAMER focuses on animal-related careers, while the jobs in I want to be an ASTRONAUT are associated with exploration and adventure. Each page identifies a career, and lists three simplified activities one might do within the profession.
Occupations range from archaeologist to racecar driver (ASTRONAUT) and pet groomer to veterinarian (LION TAMER). I’m happy to notice that out of the occupations listed, 7 out of the 18 (out of both books) have the female character in a STEM* or typically male-dominated field (such as the veterinarian and the archaeologist). These kinds of things are particularly important to me, since I have a daughter and I want to send her the message that she can succeed in those fields if she chooses to pursue any of them. Now if only the characters looked like my daughter’s dark-haired, mixed-Asian little self… but, that’s a rant for another time. Lack of character diversity aside, the illustrations in these books are joyful, bright, colorful, and a little bit fanciful – perfect for small children.
These books are simply worded and obviously great for children, but I did see some fabulous vocabulary words like excavate, artifact, and supersonic in I want to be an ASTRONAUT.
Each book ends with the children acknowledging they don’t have to decide yet, and that they can enjoy their play, imagination, and dreams. I like the way the books end, since I think childhood should be exactly that… play, imagination, and dreams.
I would recommend these books for children 0-6 years old.
*STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math