cover image I Want to Be a Vase

I Want to Be a Vase

Julio Torres, illus. by Julian Glander. Atheneum, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-53-449390-2

A toilet plunger yearns to be a vase in Torres’s moving object lesson of identity and purpose. When the bathroom mainstay announces its dreams of bringing more beauty to the world, it’s initially met with nothing but negativity: “You’re shaped like a plunger,” insists the nearby sink. “That’s your job. That’s what you were made for.” But the plunger manages to attach some flowers to its handle (a green pot immediately exclaims, “Oh, yay, look! It’s a vase!”), unleashing a torrent of declarations from other household fixtures: the pan yearns to be a trash can, the trash can wishes to be a sofa pillow, the puzzle wants to be a plunger. The vacuum cleaner initially defends the status quo, but is finally won over by a plea to live and let live. Not everyone is suited to their assigned jobs—being a plunger “wasn’t my choice,” says the newly declared vase—and besides, “Isn’t it nice to see everyone happy?” It’s a thoughtful and broadly applicable fable with saturated, 3-D-style art by Glander, which takes readers throughout the house. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 4–8. (June)