Hank and Snoliver in What Can I Be? by Nate Williams

[I received a review copy of this book from the author.  No other compensation was received.]

Does everyone know what they want to be when they grow up except for you?  Here’s a playful and exuberant picture book exploring some fabulous potential careers with Hank & Snoliver — a fun and zany duo!

Hank worries that everyone knows what they want to be except for him!  Fortunately, he has an awesome best friend, Snoliver, that helps him test out a fun variety of careers.  Together they explore the gamut of careers from the likely (veterinarian, used car salesman, Spanish teacher) to the amazing but less likely (rock star, professional golfer, Olympic archer). Bright blues, greens, oranges, and yellows, with dashes of red and spots of pink, give this book an electric energy that makes it exciting and eccentric.  Each page is filled with lively details making it so much fun to look at while simultaneously reflecting the feeling of how overwhelming it can be for anyone to try and figure out what they want to be when they “grow up.”

Readers, especially anyone who has ever been overwhelmed when trying to figure out who they want to be, will identify with Hank’s crazy eyes and the insanity that ensues with having to make THE decision.  The cartoon art is a happy way to calm and simultaneously inspire the child, teen, recent college grad, or adult making a career change.

Hank’s ultimate career choice is an inspiring decision for us all and I am wholly impressed that a picture book addressing such a loaded question has an enlightening and positive answer.

My son loves this book and Hank & Snoliver in Get Off the Phone so much that he has now thanked me, multiple times on several different occasions, for agreeing to review these books.  I’ve also been delayed in writing this review because every time I sit down to work on it I have to go get it back from him.

Roughly for Ages 4 to 12 — but really for all ages.  Gibbs Smith.  February 1st, 2015. 32 pages. ISBN:978-1423639282  Fiction.  Hardcover.

Where to Get it:

You Should Read Hank & Snoliver in What Can I Be?:

  • Because the illustrations and the picture book’s design are right on.  They’re bright, bold, and exciting.  While each page gives the impression of whimsy and chaos — on closer look you can see that every page turn, every word placement, every detail, and each color used in each illustration is perfectly done and satisfyingly balanced.
  • The story is fun, funny, and refreshing.
  • Because it is easy to forget how crazy it can be trying to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
  • Because this book gives one of my favorite answers to the question, “What Can I Be?” ever.
  • Because Hank & Snoliver make contemplating career choices feel like a wide world of wondrous possibilities!  The options in this book had my son asking all kinds of questions ranging from, “What is an Olympic Archer?”  to “What is the C.I.A?”  to “Can I really be a Spanish teacher?”  It made talking about all of the things he could be when he grows up so much fun.
  • There are also a few words of Spanish!  I’m always looking for ways to introduce my son to different languages.  He was having so much fun with this book that he totally didn’t catch me trying to teach him something.  (My son often accuses me of trying to teach him.  To quote him, “Hey, I’m on to you!  You’re trying to teach me something!”)
  • Because Gibbs Smith is the publisher and, “Gibbs Smith books are printed on either recycled, 100% post consumer waste, FSC certified papers or on paper produced from sustainable PEFC certified forest/controlled wood source.” — which is rockin’.
  • Because at the end of the book is a great Hank & Snoliver post card that asks you to draw and share a fun picture.  My son is sending his post card to his Nana.  Cool beans.

From Hank & Snoliver in What Can I Be? by Nate Williams. Image courtesy of Nate Williams and Gibbs Smith.

Author and Illustrator Websites:

More Reviews of this Book:

  • Check back soon!

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the author/illustrator. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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