Children seem to have an innate desire to learn about different professions. As kids, we all liked to ponder what we wanted to be when we grew up, and many children’s TV shows feature characters whose jobs are central to the story: Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Bob the Builder, Shane the Chef. It’s obviously a winning formula, and I must admit that I still enjoy these shows as an adult, so it’s no surprise that my six-year-old son and I enjoyed reading Pamela Bassington’s debut children’s book, What People Do. 

This 64-page picture book features a different character on each double page, with Bassington’s illustration of the person on the left-hand page and her short, rhyming description of their job on the right. The descriptions are just four lines each but she manages to squeeze a lot of fun and personality into each one, with occasional quirky and amusing lines. For example:

Miss Bee’s a Biologist,
Examining frogs to see,
If any of their bits and bobs,
Match those of you or me.


Miss Fitt is a Physio,
Keeping our joints strong,
So if we get the urge,
We can dance to any song.

Kids will love Bassington’s colourful and often funny illustrations which suit the descriptions perfectly. But as well as being a lot of fun, What People Do is also educational. Most children probably wouldn’t have heard of physios before reading this book, and Bassington isn’t afraid to describe the harsh realities of certain jobs such as undertaking or being in the army. I was also pleased to see women doing certain jobs that are traditionally male-dominated.

This is a fun, positive, inclusive and educational book that my six-year-old son read in one sitting, asking me lots of questions as he went along, so I highly recommend it to other children. I’m sure it will pique their interest and give them lots of career options early on in life!

For children aged 4 to 10.

Published by Pam Bassington.

Buy the book here.

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