Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Illustrated by Sue Heap
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011
If you want to get a Job, first you need to know what exactly a Job is.
The narrator of this book is a young girl, who is an authority on having a job. She explains that the purpose of a job is to provide money for your family and give you an excuse to dress up. She talks about lots of different types of jobs, some of which are fairly well-known, such as being a teacher or a doctor, and she also talks about less well-known jobs, such as being a balloon holder or a Super-Ballerina-Soccer-Mermaid-Fairy Princess. A good plan, she says, is to get a job doing something you love and are good at. She explores the specific responsibilities of different jobs, then offers advice on writing a resume and what to do at an interview (stressing that you shouldn’t bring your gerbils). Be prepared for questions and be on your best behavior. And if you are very good at your job, for a long time, you may someday be the boss yourself.
The oh-so-smart narrator from How to be a Baby and How to Get Married is back for a third time and author Sally Lloyd-Jones captures a lot of great insight into how children think about the concept of work and what it involves. Our narrator is giving all of this wise instruction to her baby brother and adding in her usual bits of wisdom, such as pointing out that you can be anything you want to be, although you probably shouldn’t be a robber, since that’s against the law. The overly simplistic approach to some of these jobs is really funny for both kids and adults.
Sue Heap’s illustrations are done in acrylic paint, crayons and a felt tip pen. The pictures have a lot going on in them, which gives your younger readers a lot to look at as you read through the story. They definitely encourage creativity and dreaming big when you consider your future career. And yes, while there are some silly made up jobs in here, there are some really good pieces of advice as well. Stories like this, that explore grown-up things from a child’s perspective, also give you lots of opportunities to discuss the ins and outs of your job with your kids and to find out what they do and don’t already understand, making it educational as well as entertaining.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that it’s a lot of work to get a job, so you better be sure you get the right one.