Saturday 2 October 2021

What if….?

What if….?   Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan (EK Books) ISBN 9781925820973 RRP$24.99

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Issy often wonders “what if …”, sometimes this can be quite worrying, especially at night. Issy’s mother however reframes the question with many wonderful “what if” scenarios as they lay together one evening. Mums’ scenarios are lovely, silly, and comforting. Issy puts herself in these situations as they feature a cupcake tree, bright coloured clouds, and elephant shaped stars. Issy is also embedded in the reverse conditions when teachers are being taught by children. Issy then selects some of her own funny but appropriate “what ifs” including a wise owl to watch over her at night as she tires and then falls asleep.

This picture book has lovely cheerful endpapers that set the tone for the affirmative themes in this book. Dealing with a child’s anxiety can be difficult and the use of positive imagination provides a nice story. Children will laugh at the silly scenes and think about their own way of choosing a “what if” instead of a worry. Unlike many other worry themed books, this does not dwell on the fears of children which often tends to escalate the problem. The constructive and encouraging way that the mother promotes imagination into a positive narrative makes this a useful resource for families. The pastel palette of colours provides a calming mood for the title’s content. Recommended for ages 4-7 years.

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