cover image If Kids Ruled the World

If Kids Ruled the World

Linda Bailey, illus. by David Huyck. Kids Can, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55453-591-0

This warm piece of speculative fiction is tailor-made for both circle-time reading and spurring class projects. Bailey’s (the Stanley series) what-ifs run the gamut from calendar and nutritional reform (“If kids ruled the world, every day would be your birthday! Birthday cake would be good for you”) to the legalization of transgressive behavior (“Beds would be for bouncing on and hiding underneath”) and vastly increased personal agency (“If you felt like going somewhere, you’d have your own thingamajiggy to get there”). Huyck’s (Nine Words Max) sunny scenes are filled with devil-may-care, romping kids—the pictures have the lovely, pretend-play-comes-to-life feel of vintage Golden Books. Never once does a kid yearn for a world with more screen time: in fact, the book’s best spread shows a close-up of a tree fort whose occupant has pulled up the rope ladder and is unseen except for two legs that end in flip-flops and two hands writing in a journal. If that is indeed what would happen if kids ruled the world, let’s welcome them as our new overlords. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)