Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review - The Little Book of Big What-Ifs

The Little Book of Big What-Ifs
by Renata Liwska
Date: 2019
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

What if your imagination runs wild? In this charming, whimsical book, New York Times bestselling creator Renata Liwska explores “what if” scenarios from silly to serious, gently examining the curiosities of everyday life with humor and imagination. Perfect for fans of I Wish You More and The Quiet Book.

Every day is filled with opportunities to wonder... what if?

In this charming book of big questions for little readers, New York Times bestselling creator Renata Liwska explores scenarios that span the spectrum from silly to serious, gently examining both the anxieties and curiosities of everyday life.

Wondering what might happen helps expand our imaginations, whether the options are humorous or thought-provoking—or both!

So: what if... you turned the page?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Little Book of Big What-Ifs is a little disappointment. I loved the author's coloured-pencil illustrations in The Quiet Book (and its sequels). She somehow managed to make the critters look like they were fuzzy and felted. Here, though, the animals look more sketch-like than fuzzy.

This book is done by Liwska alone (rather than in conjunction with an author). The premise is simple, just like in The Quiet Book, but... I almost wonder if it's going to be too much for some kids. A few of the what-ifs are a bit worrisome (like the one where someone swallows a seed), and could potentially cause stress in kids who are already prone to worrying about any number of weird things that might befall them. (Thankfully, the bear who sleeps through her winter birthday is shown waking up to enjoy her party in the spring; I know I would've been worried about the outcome of that situation when I was a little kid!)

I can see what Liwska was trying to do here, and on some of the pages, it works. But I don't think the illustrations are quite as strong as in some of the other titles she's illustrated. If you want to see her artwork at its best, I'd recommend checking out The Quiet Book, The Christmas Quiet Book, and The Loud Book instead.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

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