I Can Be Anything

Shinsuke Yoshitake. Chronicle, $15.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4521-8038-0
Yoshitake (The Boring Book) strikes again with Natsumi, a high-energy girl in yellow pajamas whose bedtime powers of invention nearly defeat her exhausted mother. “Mommy! I have a really good idea!” Extra lines around her mother’s eyes signal bleary fatigue. “I’ll pretend to be something and you’ll guess what it is!” Natsumi announces. She puts a tangerine on her head, loops one arm by her side and sticks the other out like a swan’s neck. “What is it?” “Something dancing?” says her mother, baffled. A page turn shows a green teapot. “It’s a pot!” And the girl is off, pretending in dizzying succession to be an omelet, a baby, a bulldozer, a fan. She promises not to get upset if her mother guesses wrong, but her temper flares just the same. “Why don’t you get it?” she cries, fists clenched. Yoshitake creates lovable characters with just a few antic lines. Natsumi’s firehose of creative ideas and her mother’s despair (“Aren’t you getting sleepy?”) strike close to home in this sharp-eyed portrait of the way kids rev up just before they collapse. Ages 3–5. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 04/14/2020
Genre: Children's
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