Ambition's Not An Awful Word
Zack Zage & Adam Watkins
Ivy, 2012 (2012)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
hildren, when they are young, often have big plans for the future. Ask a little boy or girl what he or she wants to be and you'll get a full range of answers. Usually adults smile and refrain from answering in a negative manner but they might be thinking, '
Yeah, right! I don't think you are going to be an astronaut.
he little boy in this picture book shares a number of his dreams when his fourth grade teacher asks the class what they want to be some day. As you'll see, the precocious youngster's plans are not met with encouragement or great enthusiasm. In fact, just the opposite happens.
he boy's classmates respond with, '
You exaggerate. You're nothing but a boast. It's always you who have to be the brightest and the most. So, until the things you do, can back up things you say, the rest of us won't stick around and listen to what you bray.
ather downcast, the fourth grader goes home, but his mother encourages him and assures him that it is OK to dream.
five page glossary accompanies this rhymed narrative which suggests that the author wasn't sure young readers would fathom the text. That potential vocabulary concern is well founded. I found the rhyme forced at times and this may cause problems with younger readers in the seven to ten year old range. Also, it was never clear who was responsible for
each of the boy's dreams. Was it his teacher, his classmates or some mysterious off stage voice?
he book's illustrations are quite good and they will probably save what is otherwise a somewhat flawed text. Although the basic idea here is fine, there's a problem with its execution.
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