|If I was the sunshine|
Author: Fogliano, Julie
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the nature of connection and relationships.
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/19)
School Library Journal (05/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/19)
The Hornbook (07/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/01/2019 Dramatic artwork and clever verse combine in a book that will pique young listeners' imaginations. An unseen narrator poses hypothetical scenarios that spill over two-page spreads. For instance, If you were a bird / and I was a tree / you'd call me home is accompanied by a close-up of a woodpecker pecking holes in the bark of a tree. Turn the page, and the rest of the text says, and I'd call you free. The holes are now shown to be heart-shaped, and the bird soars off in a golden-blue sky. These are two of the more literal spreads. Others are more quixotic. The opening spreads, in which a rooster crows in the morning, If I was the sunshine / and you were the day / I'd call you hello! and, with a page turn, and you'd call me stay, combined with the picture of a girl and her mother milking a cow, may need explanation. Mostly, the wordplay is fun, and the beautifully bold acrylic paintings have intense child-appeal. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2019 PreS-Gr 1—A farm is the setting for a fanciful dialogue between a mother and daughter that occurs over the span of a day. The duo appears at the beginning and conclusion, viewed mostly at a distance or from behind. The one close-up reveals a girl with dark, straight ponytails, her face golden from the illumination of fireflies. Each conversational segment spans two spreads; the fourth (last) line, appearing after the pause of the page turn, rhymes with the second. Some ideas are imaginative and abstract: "if i was the silence/and you were a sound/i'd call you missing/and you'd call me found." Others are tangible and humorous: "if i was an apple/and you were a worm/you'd call me lunch/and i'd call you squirm." The dance of words and pictures is lovely, although it is curious that Fogliano abandoned the subjunctive mood in a book about "ifs." Long's acrylic paintings, some recalling the patchwork landscapes of Grant Wood, will show well with groups. Large figures fill the foreground, from a dappled cow whose bulk crosses the gutter to a hibernating grizzly bear spilling out of the verso, his frame pushing a field of snow up toward the heavens like a too-small blanket. VERDICT The creative use of language and accessible, pleasing imagery will lead to rereadings, which in turn, will inspire listeners to invent their own playful verses.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.