When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up - Al Yankovic, Wes Hargis

Written by Al Yankovic

Illustrated by Wes Hargis


Billy, a student in Mrs.Krupp's class, is very excited to share what he wants to be when he grows up during the class's show and tell time. He begins by claiming to want to be the world's best chef, and stops Mrs. Krupp when she wrongly thinks he is finished sharing. Billy has many ideas about what he wants to be when he grows up, from a snail trainer to a gorilla masseuse, or maybe a movie director or a dinosaur-dusting museum curator. Mrs. Krupp, fed up with Billy's wild ideas, tells Billy that he needs to pick one thing. Billy responds that his 103-year-old grandfather has held so many different jobs, and he's still not sure what he wants to be when he grows up! At the end of the story, Billy leaves Mrs. Krupp a note saying that he may even be a great teacher like her someday.


This book would be fantastic for a creative writing prompt about what students would like to do when they grow up, and for a discussion about what occupations the people in their family have held. Some of the vocabulary in this book is quite advanced, so a discussion about word meanings would be necessary. I would use this book with upper elementary, fourth and fifth grades.