Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review - What If...

What If...
by Samantha Berger
illustrated by Mike Curato
Date: 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Creativity, the power of imagination, and the importance of self-expression are celebrated in this inspiring picture book written and illustrated by real-life best friends.

This girl is determined to express herself! If she can't draw her dreams, she'll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can't do that, she'll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she'll sing, dance, and dream...

Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book is really an ode to creativity. What if, as an artist, you didn't have your traditional supplies? What If... explores that question through simple rhyming verse and unique mixed-media illustrations.

It's a fun book to look at, and while I wholeheartedly appreciate the overall message, I'm a bit wary of some of the early ideas. No paper? No problem. Just chisel the table and carve the chair. No furniture? Chip the paint off the walls (you'd better hope your house doesn't still have lead paint)! I'm not sure these are the best things to be suggesting to bored kids who might not have access to art supplies.

Overall, though, I liked the message of using what you have (even if it's just your voice) to create art. The mixed-media illustrations are pretty neat, and could offer inspiration to budding young artists.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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