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|What if ..|
Author: Berger, Samantha
A child who likes to draw and write stories imagines what would happen if there were no pencils, paper, or other tools for being creative.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 113728
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/18)
School Library Journal (00/03/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2018 As a young artist sits down to consider her work, she wonders what would happen if her pencil disappeared? While imagining paper flowers, cranes, and unicorns, she knows she’d take the paper she’s drawing on and fold it into art. And if there was no paper? She’d chisel the table she’s writing on and chair she sits upon. Thus begins a mixed-media exploration of what it means to be an artist. The nameless protagonist, a stand-in for any youngster driven by creative tides, daydreams in explosive, bright colorscapes. Curato’s collages, featuring ink, pencil, acrylics, and more, make beautiful backdrops that pop, contrast, and fill each spread with life. Even wood shavings shine in burnished, textured glory. What’s more, Berger’s inspiring message, drawn from her own experience of losing the tools to make her art during a natural disaster, uplifts and demonstrates the unstoppable spirit of creativity. As the final illustration showcases the variety of expressions (dance, digital art, scientific discovery), many young artists will come away connected and affirmed. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—In a first-person narrative, a young African American girl declares that nothing can keep her from creating. ("What if that pencil one day disappeared? I'd fold up the paper till stories appeared.") As she continues to imagine her the disappearance of her supplies, she invents new ways to create, by chiseling wood, drawing in the dirt, and using leaves, snow, and sand as her media. As more and more resources are withdrawn, the child makes shadows, tells stories, and dances. Until "If I had nothing, but still had my mind; there would always be stories to seek and to find." The story's origins are events from the author's own life. Berger shares in the notes that she wondered how she would be able to create when she was forced out of her home by a flood. She improvised, and in doing so realized that those who are "compelled to create…will always find a way." Curato was inspired by Berger, and reflects that in digital collages of household and found objects offset with charming pen-and-ink drawings of the young protagonist. The story is sandwiched between two exterior depictions of the narrator's apartment building. At the start of the book, she can be seen through a window, working at her desk. At the end of the book, the windows illuminate all the creators nearby; a man playing violin, a woman decorating a cake, and singers, dancers, painters, and needle workers. VERDICT This inspirational read-aloud provides ample opportunity for discussion and creation from beginning to end. A necessary addition for most collections.—Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.