cover image The Plans I Have for You

The Plans I Have for You

Amy Parker, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Zonderkidz, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-310-72410-0

For Christian children wondering what God has in store for them, Parker (My Christmas List) offers a playfully reassuring rhyme, written from the perspective of an enthusiastic deity. The focus is on future careers ("I need you in a hospital/ and you at the zoo./ You'll be an entomologist/ in a forest in Peru"), though a spread in which four children peruse a Bible is decorated with words like "patience" and "kindness," emphasizing altruistic values. Brantley-Newton (My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay) draws from an array of visual influences in her always energetic illustrations. In one early scene, a hand points out at readers from a cloud, like an Uncle Sam recruitment poster; elsewhere, children sit on an assembly line (which stretches over several pages) as robot arms outfit them with stethoscopes, musical instruments, and other gear. Parker's meter can be slightly shaky, and there's an overreliance on certain rhymes (you/do gets a workout, in particular), but the encouraging tone, range of careers represented, and ethnically diverse cast create the sense that the sky's the limit. Ages 4%E2%80%938. Author's agency: Working Title Agency. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Aug.)