All Kinds of Awesome

Feiwel & Friends. Apr. 2021. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250245250.
PreS-Gr 3–A rhyming smorgasbord of career ideas will inspire readers to dream big. Hitchman’s poetry rolls off the tongue with a bouncy “Choosing Shoes” (Frida Wolfe) meter: “Fire awesome / Hire awesome / Helping to inspire awesome.” The somewhat obtuse text works because of the colorful cartoon-style spreads that are interspersed with spot illustrations and pages divided diagonally to help make each interest-to-career pairing clear: a child playing with a stuffed elephant next to the same child dressed as a ranger feeding a real elephant, for example. The illustrator leaves no representation rock unturned: characters range from plump to skinny, skin tones from coffee to cream, hair a variety of textures and colors, and one mom is wearing a hijab. Adding to the diversity: a girl in a wheelchair hammers a nail on one page while on another, a girl using a white cane and a seeing-eye dog goes for a hike with some friends. The pictures and sound of the words will be pure fun for preschoolers while older readers will appreciate the message that there are enough kinds of awesome to include them and their passions. Back matter facilitates a more direct discussion of how a child’s interests could lead to investigating certain careers.
VERDICT A read-aloud hit perfect for the community helpers or career day shelf.

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