Thursday 24 October 2013

Picture book review : What If ...? - Anthony Browne

We recently received a copy of Anthony Browne's What If...? to review. I instantly recognised his name from the much-loved My Mum and My Dad books that we already own and still frequently read, so I was keen to see what we'd think.

Pierre excitedly picked it at bedtime and was immediately intrigued, asking why the boy was all blue like a Smurf and then, after a closer look, asking why there were fish swimming in the window of the house !

The story introduces us to Joe, a little boy who has been invited to his first ever party and is worried about what he'll find. He's lost the invitation but remembers the street, so he wanders along the road at twilight, peering into the windows to find the right house.

The goings-on in the different houses get more and more bizarre - you have to look closely to work out what the strange characters are up to and even then, it's all nonsensical ! It reminded me of The Mad Hatter's Tea Party and Tweedledum and Tweedledee in Alice in Wonderland. I had to explain to Pierre that it was the little boy's imagination, making things look stranger and more sinister than they really are, just like when he thinks there's a monster in his room and it turns out to be a cuddly toy in the corner !

Despite his reservations, Joe agrees to go to the party, when they finally find it. As a mum, I love the way the tables turn and it is then the mum worrying about her little boy and how he's getting on - so true to life !

 And needless to say, when she goes to collect him, he's had a great time ! It's a lovely read, especially if you have a young child who tends to worry about things that he or she has never experienced before.

It's a very visual book with very short texts and lots of illustrations teeming with details to discover with your child.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £11.99

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (3 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857531131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857531131
  • Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 24.2 x 1 cm

Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Children's book review : Granny Marmalade & Uncle Tractor - Julian Warrender

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