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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Do you hear music in your heart? Your soul? Does it speak to you and make you want to sing? Maggie loves her music so much so that when she grows up, she wants to be a song. Even if she’s working in a bakery or exploring outer space, or perhaps living the life of a wild child, she wants to be a song. The only thing is, she doesn’t know what song she wants to be. There are so many decisions to be made about her future before she really can choose the right song for her. And, she has to listen to a lot of music to find the ‘right’ song that suits her.
Danielle LaRosa’s picture book story, When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Song!, is a unique way to introduce to young readers the many opportunities available to them when they grow up. The plot begins with Maggie sharing her secret wish to be a song, but reminding the reader that they mustn’t share her secret. Then she launches into multiple career choices for her to aspire to. Told in rhyming verse, the story reads like the lyrics to a song. With its lilting nature, this story is a song in itself. Danielle LaRosa uses another interesting technique. She borrows various song titles and lyrics and weaves them into the story, each highlighted in blue. She provides a concise list of titles and lyrics and songwriters used in the story at the end of the book. Finding the right song, Maggie realizes, is more than just the music, it’s also about what she wants to do with her life. As long as music is a part of her plan, a part of her song, Maggie has a number of things she’d love to do as a grownup. The main thing for Maggie is that music defines who she is. This is a beautiful, touching, sweet story with charming illustrations. Loved it!