Wednesday, September 04, 2019

In Service: Who Will I Be? by Abby Huntsman

Isabel was stumped.

"Who do you want to be when you grow up?" her teacher asked the class. Everyone around Isabel waved their hands.

But Isabel can't answer that question. She thought about it all the way home and tells her father what happened. He asks her another question.
"Well, what makes you happy?"

Isabel remembers selling cookies at the charity Bake Sale and the time she found someone's lost pet, and her dad suggests that maybe the job for her is helping people.
"Dad, helper isn't a job!" Isabel replies.

Oh, but it is, her father replies, and he takes Isabel for a walk around the town, where there are many people working at helping others--from the teacher working as a crossing guard, the neighborhood veterinarian who helps keep pets well, the librarian who helps people find books, the fire fighters in the local station, even the garbage collector who takes the trash away. A stop at her mom's office finds her, the city's mayor, talking about her new town project with a newspaper reporter, where her mother points out that...
"Journalists help people know what's happening."

"What to be" is a big question in children's lives, and author Abby Huntsman puts in a plug for service workers of all kinds, in her Who Will I Be? (Harper, 2018).  Cozy, homey artwork by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff offers youngsters a chance to notice all the jobs grown-ups are doing throughout the neighborhood, especially those essential "community helpers." Says Publishers Weekly, "Chipper mixed-media pictures by Le-Vriethoff give the story its oomph, illuminating its message about the value of service workers."

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