What Will You Be? (Hardcover)

What Will You Be? By Yamile Saied Méndez, Kip Alizadeh (Illustrator) Cover Image

What Will You Be? (Hardcover)

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May/June 2021 Kids Indie Next List


“Glorious illustrations and a simply wonderful story of a young girl asking her abuela what she will be when she grows up. A gentle, yet powerful story and a perfect graduation gift!”
— Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

From Yamile Saied Méndez, acclaimed author of Where Are You From?, comes a stunning lyrical picture book that tells the story of one girl who is always asked a simple question: What will you be when you grow up? 

“Méndez and Alizadeh create a balance between the abstract and concrete by letting the child imagine the future but with Abuela’s guidance and support. A sweet read to share with loved ones.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Turning a common question of childhood into a substantive quest, this imaginative set of plans will have other children charting their own course through the stars.” —School Library Journal

What will you be when you grow up?

A young girl dreams about all the endless possibilities, sparking a sense of wonder, curiosity, and growth. With her abuela’s loving guidance, she learns her potential is limitless.

Yamile Saied Méndez’s powerful, lyrical text and Kip Alizadeh’s colorful, stunning art are a radiant celebration of family, love, and community.

A Spanish-language edition, ¿Qué Serás?, is also available.

  • A Kirkus Best Picture Book of the Year
  • A Banks Street Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • A Wisconsin State Reading Association’s 2022 Picture This Recommendation List

Yamile Saied Méndez is the author of many books for young readers and adults, including the award-winning picture books Where Are You From? and What Will You Be? She was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina, and now lives in a lovely valley surrounded by mountains in Utah with her husband, five children, two dogs, and a majestic cat. She’s a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA writing for children and young adults program. She’s always trying new empanada recipes. Connect with her at yamilesmendez.com.



Kip Alizadeh is an illustrator and visual artist. When they aren’t creating, they like to DJ, spend time with their cats, and play sports. Kip is nonbinary, queer, Iranian, and English and lives in Northern Ireland. They have a bachelor's degree with honors from Falmouth University and they have illustrated several picture books. Visit them at kipalizadeh.net.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062839954
ISBN-10: 0062839950
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Pages: 40
Language: English

“Méndez and Alizadeh create a balance between the abstract and concrete by letting the child imagine the future but with Abuela’s guidance and support. A sweet read to share with loved ones.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This is a prayer to personal power, a license to dream big, and permission to keep moving forward, beyond proscribed or limiting roles…Turning a common question of childhood into a substantive quest, this imaginative set of plans will have other children charting their own course through the stars.” — School Library Journal