What If...

Samantha Berger, illus. by Mike Curato. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-39096-5
“With a pencil and paper, I write and draw art/ to create many stories that come from my heart.” But what if the young narrator of this story didn’t have a pencil? In ways that may remind readers of the lullaby “Hush Little Baby,” this brown-skinned, purple-haired girl is always thinking about her next move. No pencil? She’d make origami. No paper? She’d “chisel the table and then carve the chair” or create a wall-size sun by strategically peeling away paint. Ultimately, it’s her imagination—celebrated with a gatefold close-up of the girl deep in thought—and unfaltering determination to create that matter. “If I had nothing, but still had my mind,” writes Berger (Monster’s New Undies). “There’d always be stories to seek and find.” Curato’s collaged and found-object illustrations meet the creative challenges the text all but demands with moments of giddy inventiveness: a dragon created from fall leaves, a solar system rendered in dirt and marbles, and a snow scene made of marshmallows and sugar. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/03/2018
Genre: Children's
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