Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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When I Grow Up (Tim Minchin, illus by Steve Antony, Scholastic)

From the award-winning Australian composer and comedian Tim Minchin comes a picture book inspired by Minchin’s lyrics to the song ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda the Musical. The song/story explores the freedoms of adulthood from a child’s hopeful perspective. The narrative arrangement is simple yet affecting, with the repeating line ‘When I grow up’ accompanying the children’s desire to eat sweets on the way to work, watch cartoons until their eyes go square, and be brave enough to fight creatures under the bed. The mix of dreamy pastels and pops of vibrant colours beautifully encapsulates the children’s longing and playfulness. The text and illustrations culminate with enlarged emphasis on key words and sentences that weave in and around the pictures. Created with charm and insight, this book captures the magic of childhood while also encouraging more complex investigations into the realities of life’s challenges. Primary-aged readers and adults alike will be enchanted by the heart of this story. A digital download of the hit song is included.

Romi Sharp is an early years educator, reviewer and director of Just Write for Kids Australia


Category: Junior newsletter Review list Reviews