The World Is Waiting for You

by Barbara Kerley (Author)

The World Is Waiting for You
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question kids get asked over and over. But very few connections are made for kids between the present and the future. This book shows kids a pathway from their current interests and talents to a future career or interest. And in so doing, it also encourages adventure, exploration, and discovery, three core principles of National Geographic's mission. It's a celebration of possibility--so simple and so profound.

Jumping in puddles can inspire scuba diving. Dirty hands can lead to dinosaur bones! Backyard star-gazing inspires future astronauts. Perfectly selected photos make the connections compelling and the future real for kids, then rich back matter brings the message home with inspirational quotes from the real-life adventurers pictured in the images. Grown-ups won't be able to resist sharing this inspirational message with kids, and kids won't be able to resist the invitation to let their imaginations run wild.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

As she did in One World, One Day, Kerley pairs lean prose with exquisite photographs (many from National Geographic's archives) in this exuberant celebration of the boundless possibilities life holds for children. As in the earlier book, smaller versions of the photos also appear at book's end, annotated with information about the activities and locations depicted, as well as comments from the photographers. Kerley uses two visual narratives to encourage readers to explore the world around them. Photographs of children involved in outdoor activities alternate with thematically linked images of scientists and adventurers. A photograph of a child playing under a waterfall in Bali ("Make a splash. Get a little too wet") is followed by a shot of oceanographer Sylvia Earle diving with dolphins near the Bahamas ("Dive in"); an image of a girl standing on a Florida beach ("face the wind...") leads into a shot of a biologist/photographer paragliding over Patagonia (."..and soar"). Whether portraying an everyday activity or an extraordinary feat of science and exploration, the daring photographs and invigorating text aim to inspire--and succeed. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-6--In celebration of its 125th anniversary, National Geographic presents a series of outstanding photographic images-explorers and future explorers in eye-opening close-ups and dramatic panoramic vistas-that encourage and challenge youngsters to discover the world around them. Simple sentences and highlighted text in a large font ask readers, "what if?...why not?" and offer the instruction to "get your hands dirty" and investigate. Cloud-filled skies on endpapers frame the text and pictures. As in the print magazine, additional pages fill in the details of adventure shots with quotations and identification of sites. Photography enthusiasts will not be disappointed as illustrations range from the unique to the adventurous. Explorers are shown in a cave of giant crystals, dangling from cliff's edge in California, spacewalking outside the International Space Station, and shooting class-five rapids on the Shoshone River, Wyoming. This gorgeous, inspirational title urges readers forward. "Ready. Set. Go."--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Named 2014 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People by the Children's Book Council
An NPR Best Books of 2013 Selection

"A stirring invitation to leap, dive, soar, plunge and thrill to the natural world's wonders and glories." -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Kerley pairs lean prose with exquisite photographs (many from National Geographic's archives) in this exuberant celebration of the boundless possibilities life holds for children." -Publisher's Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"This gorgeous, inspirational title urges readers forward." —Library Journal

"Each photograph is striking, and the text is simple and inviting." —Library Media Connection, Highly Recommended

"Barbara Kerley presents the natural world to children in this beautifully orchestrated book, which marries really good advice...with vividly realized photography." -Maria Alpert, children's librarian, via NPR

"The World is Waiting for You is a beautiful book to spark your little explorer's curiosity and imagination. Kids will love the awesome photography and get excited about life's big adventures." -WeeSpring
Barbara Kerley
Edwin Fotheringham's stylish, award-winning illustrations have graced the pages of The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other publications. He has illustrated numerous highly acclaimed nonfiction picture books, such as Barbara Kerley's What to Do About Alice?, a Sibert Honor Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book; The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), a New York Public Library Best Children's Book; Those Rebels, John & Tom, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book; and A Home for Mr. Emerson, a NAPPA Gold Award winner; as well as younger fiction picture books, such as Pam Muñoz Ryan's Tony Baloney and the eponymous beginning reader series, Jennifer Hamburg's Monkey and Duck Quack Up!, a spring 2015 Indie Favorite, and Andria Rosenbaum's Big Sister, Little Monster. Ed lives in Seattle, Washington. Visit him online at
Barbara Kerley is a two-time Sibert Honoree and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honoree whose award-winning biographies include What to Do About Alice?, The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), Those Rebels, John & Tom, and A Home for Mr. Emerson, all illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham; Tigers & Tea with Toppy, illustrated by Matte Stephens; and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins and Walt Whitman: Words for America, illustrated by Brian Selznick. Kerley's books have all been praised for their lively prose, meticulous research, and artistic presentation style. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
National Geographic Kids
Publication date
March 20, 2013
Barbara Kerley Photo Inspirations

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