by Marie-Louise Gay
published by Allen&Unwin
Hardcover picture book
The premise of this picture book is interesting. It is taken from the questions asked of the author by children. The author remembers how curious she was as a child and tries to finds a way to answer the children’s questions in an entertaining way. In the process she shares a little about herself but also about the writing process.
The book gives a number of ideas of how a story could start, what might happen and how things might change if another dimension, even to a change of colour, was added. This book lends itself to using the imagination. It even leads into a story about a shy giant.
The water colour illustrations suit the whimsical character of the text. However while I thought this book had lots of positive aspects, the pages at times seemed too busy and the text tending to veer off at too many tangents. In my view, it is not a picture book for parents or teachers to read aloud to children. Rather, this book is designed to help teachers encourage children explore their own creativity and so from that purpose would be a very useful tool. It would be very constructive in a classroom situation where the teacher could take a page or two at a time and use it to spark ideas with their class. Any book that helps children learn to use their imaginations has to be a good thing. It can be used for creative writing and art lessons or learning about jobs as at the back of the book the author answers some of the questions about being a writer.