Supposing...

Alastair Reid, illus. by Bob Gill, NYRB, $15.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-59017-369-5
In Gill's third release this fall (after The Green-eyed Mouse and the Blue-eyed Mouse and The Present), he brings his brand of scribbly line art to Reid's 1960 book in which a boy contemplates the consequences of a wide-ranging and eccentric array of possible actions. In some ways the book feels like an ancestor to Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (though it's vastly different in tone); the scenarios are (often surreal) springboards for readers' imaginations. The boy delights in confounding expectations ("Supposing I collected old hair from a barber shop and sent it in parcels to people I didn't like..."), but also in asserting his power, whether it's turning down the marriage proposal of a "very beautiful lady," or appearing on TV as an expert, but burping instead of answering a question. There's an understated but fitting whimsy in Gill's artwork: "Supposing I could be any size I wanted to be..." is paired with a spread of striped rugby shirts in various sizes hanging on a rod, and when the boy imagines becoming a "wise old professor," Gill offers a loose portrait of Einstein. Ages 5–9. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 978-1-59270-376-0
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