Books by Theme

Jobs People Have

What do you want to do when you grow up? Explore jobs and the characters who have them in the books suggested here.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

By: Philip Stead
Illustrated by: Erin Stead
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Every day, Amos McGee goes to his job at the City Zoo where he's attentive to each of his animal friends' special needs. One day, however, Amos doesn't feel well and must miss work and so his friends visit to take care of him. Gentle, expressive illustrations expand this touching tale. (2011 Caldecott Medal Winner)

Digger Man

By: Andrea Zimmerman
Illustrated by: David Clemesha
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A truck-loving child imagines that his toy construction vehicles are real and he's driving them and will soon teach his little brother how. Large, richly colored illustrations convey the boy's enthusiasm for diggers as well as what these machines do in real life.

I'm Not

By: Pam Smallcomb
Illustrated by: Robert Weinstock
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Two friends are very different. Evelyn is adventurous and has an eye for fashion but is also the worst at cookie making and spelling. "I'm not!" replies the narrator after each observation providing reassurance that everyone has different talents and skills but still share friendship.

My Car

By: Byron Barton
Illustrated by: Byron Barton
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Bold color and broad shapes show the details of Sam's car and how he takes care of it before he drives to his job and goes off, driving a bus!

The Firefighters

By: Sue Whiting
Illustrated by: Donna Rawlins
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The children in Ms. Iverson's classroom pretend being firefighters, make boxes into fire trucks, and more — before the real firefighters arrive to reinforce fire safety rules. Crisp text and illustrations encourage creative play while introducing important information and key jobs.

The Gardener

By: Sarah Stewart
Illustrated by: David Small
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A girl is sent to live with her taciturn uncle (a baker) until her father gets a new job. How Lydia Grace brightens the drab city and her uncle's bakery is told through a series of letters home and subtle, expressive line and wash illustrations.

The Wheels on the Bus

By: Jane Cabrera
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Can a giraffe actually drive a bus? It's possible in a book in which a group of noisy animals are on their way to go swimming. This colorful, lively spin on a familiar song is sure to delight the youngest — and perhaps start a conversation about who really drives a bus.

To Market, To Market

By: Nikki McClure
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A child and his mother go to a farmers' market to get fresh produce and goods. On alternating pages, the person responsible for growing each kind of food is introduced, bringing to light many unknown jobs as well as food sources. The bold linear illustrations are created by handsome paper cut-outs.

When I Grow Up

By: Al Yankovic
Illustrated by: Wes Hargis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Billy is only eight-years old but regales Mrs. Krupp and his classmates when he shares myriad, imaginative, sometimes offbeat, career interests. Rhyming language is animated, humorous, and exaggerated, and perfectly complemented by comical illustrations.

Yoko's Show & Tell

By: Rosemary Wells
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Yoko disobeys her mother by taking her special Japanese doll to school and is heartsick when it is broken. Her mother reassures Yoko that she loves her in spite of her mistake and takes Miki to a doll hospital for repair. Textured, evocative illustrations effectively convey feelings and Yoko's Japanese heritage.

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"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney