When I’m Older
Isa & Neil Flory
Allen & Unwin, 2018
32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
Speculating about what a little one might become when they are older is a perennial topic, but if you are a lump of blue clay then the possibilities are endless.
I can be a head, I can be a bed, I can be a crocodile playing dead!.
From the creator of The Short Giraffe, and using rhyme and rhythm which will capture the ear of the very young listener, this is a clever story that can spark conversations as, in so many ways, very young children are just like the lump of clay waiting to be moulded by nurture and nature. The use of clay as the starting point is very clever as not only is it flexible, pliable and malleable into shapes depending on whose hands are on it, it can also be returned to its original form, to its core of who/what it is and in this case, being happy with that.
Clay also makes the illustrations so credible as this strange lump changes so readily and have a Gumby-like character (for those of us old enough to remember him.)
It also offers little ones the opportunity to get some hands-on experience and mould their own clay/plasticene/playdough into their dreams for the future, perhaps even making a rhyming sequence like one from the book as an introduction to playing with the sounds of our language. (ACELA1438, ACELA1439, ACELT1785, ACELT1579 & ACELT1580)
Who would have thought such a seemingly simple book would have me quoting Australian Curriculum outcomes????? But it shows that this is more than just for preschoolers – imagine its power for those learning English as a new language or even producing a stop-go animation of a group or class book!
Picture books are for everyone!