Casey Bruning – When I Grow up, I will Shine

Self published, through Tell Well, Canada, 2021

Casey Bruning’s first children’s picture book is as cheering as the little girl who is its main character. It’s a work that focuses on many things positive, starting with human kindness.

Barbie talks to Casey Bruning about When I Grow up, I will Shine

So many of us are asked what we want to do when we grow up, asking us to forever define ourselves by our occupations. And so often we do.

In this story we are asked how we are kind, how do we follow our instincts, what makes us happy, how we care for the earth and our fellow human beings. The entreaty is to love oneself, to spend time on things that bring joy to oneself and one’s loved ones – and therein lies good health, spiritual and physical.

Our little girl protagonist spends time with her grandma feeding the ducks and picking vegetables. She learns how to do things in the company of her dad and plays with family and friends, looking out for them in simple heartfelt ways. She tries and learns new things, isn’t afraid to ask for help and advice and demonstrates courage in the face of adversity. She is, in short, happy to be herself.

Casey Burning has produced a book with many important lessons for children and their adults. It’s colourfully illustrated by a skilled (unnamed) artist in the publisher’s stable, one who has captured the mood of the book in the various scenes depicted – whether it be around the campfire or loudly playing instruments with the family.

Issues of acceptance and care for others, friendly good manners and co-operative behaviour are also underliers.

Whilst the messaging in this book is strong, it is never moralising, and readers and listeners will enjoy its cheerfulness and clarity along with the engaging pictures which provide so much to talk about during the reading process.

Find more about Casey at

Thank you to Casey for the review copy of this book and for speaking to me about the joys of writing and of life.