I Want to Be a Vase

Atheneum. Jun. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534493902.
Gr 3-5–What begins as a shocking declaration from a toilet plunger turns into an allegorical tumult of support, voiced by other household objects, about being whatever you want to be. Composed entirely of dialogue between the household objects as they negate, discuss, then clamor over toilet plunger’s idea to change to their desired job, rather than an appointed one, this story mixes humor with its celebration of self-identity. However, certain turns of phrase and references, such as a flower-filled daydream sequence, are more suited for older readers to understand. Similarly, advanced vocabulary and cramped dialogue in difficult left-to-right progressions suggests that the story fits a more proficient reader. Luminous, eye-catching 3-D illustrations appear like stills of stop-motion animation, treating perspectives of the household objects like people. For the right age group, this is a hilarious read-aloud that begs for strong voice performance for each character’s distinct personality.
VERDICT For collections with access to older, proficient readers, an enthusiastic dialogue between vividly rendered household objects ultimately triggers sincere affirmation about being whatever you want to be.

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