cover image The Wonderful Things You Will Be: A Growing-Up Poem

The Wonderful Things You Will Be: A Growing-Up Poem

Emily Winfield Martin. Random, $17.99 (36p) ISBN 978-0-385-37671-6

The wealth of possibilities contained within even the tiniest child is the subject of Martin’s (Day Dreamers) love letter from parent to offspring: “When you were too small/ To tell me hello,/ I knew you were someone/ I wanted to know.” This potential can be seen in everything children do, from working in a garden (“Will you learn what it means/ To help things to grow?”) to bandaging a toy bear. The book concludes with a double gatefold, drawn as a proscenium-style curtain, that reveals a group of eccentrically costumed children (a robot, a pencil, a log) to represent the idea of becoming “anybody/ That you’d like to be.” Martin’s characters generally exhibit a preternatural sense of self-possession, but this book’s subject matter adds another layer of meaning to the poised poker faces on display. Her children are so serious (even when swinging on a swing) and so unflappable (even when tailoring a pair of pants for a squirrel) that they convey not just hope for the future, but a sense of manifest destiny. Ages 3–7. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Aug.)