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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Imagine
Author: Norman Messenger
Publisher: Candlewick Press

I asked my thirteen-year-old for words that she would use to describe Imagine. She came up with creepy, cool, weird, and interesting. Those words pretty much described my initial reaction to the book myself. Any book that uses Escher style geometric drawings on its end papers probably does have something of a disconnect in store for the reader. The title page asks you to imagine a door without a room. Would you be indoors or outdoors? From that introduction, you're invited to imagine all kinds of things from fabulous animals to bicycles with square wheels. I didn't care for the doll that became an ogre, but then I don't think I was supposed to. The book is replete with visual puzzles and oddities. The corners of most pages also contain geometry and math puzzles for children to solve. The last pages show an array of animals in the clouds above a small house. In the end Imagine is much like any creative child's imaginings sometimes creepy, sometimes cool, sometimes weird, but usually interesting.

Children of all ages and most adults would enjoy this book. Although it is a children's picture book, I think it is most suitable for elementary age children and up for whom it can be a jumping off point for their own creative writing or drawing. Small children may have problems with some of the scarier pictures. I probably wouldn't read the book with a child who was easily frightened by pictures of monstrous looking animals and the like. Most of the pictures are quite gentle. Imagine does contain references that some may not wish to share with their children including the above mentioned ogre and a witch.


Imagine

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