If Only

Pajama. May 2021. 28p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781772781960.
PreS-K–A child and a multitude of small creatures all wish they could be something else. A little girl wishes to be a butterfly that can fly everywhere, but the butterfly would like to be a stick bug that doesn’t stand out so much. Of course, the stick bug thinks the whirligig beetle has the better life and so on, until the story circles round to a dragonfly that wishes it could be a child. Implied messages about imagination and finding satisfaction in your own special abilities are there for children to interpret as they choose. Van Hout employs painted papers in the style of Eric Carle to collage plants and critters and places them on backdrops washed in vibrant, translucent color. The result is spread after spread of exuberantly busy, beautiful life. A glossary with one to two sentences of information about each featured animal is included, as are instructions for making painted papers and collage.
VERDICT A visual delight, this picture book offers openings for conversation about wishes, predictions, and one’s own enviable strengths.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing