What If?

What If?

by Jonathan Shipton, Barbara Nascimbeni
     
 

What if...a young boy went out into the garden and found a sunflower as tall as a skyscraper? What if...he climbed it to the very top and met someone in the clouds who wanted to take him on a fantastic adventure? What if...he went along? Would he be amazed at what he might discover in a world of limitless imagination? See more details below

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Overview

What if...a young boy went out into the garden and found a sunflower as tall as a skyscraper? What if...he climbed it to the very top and met someone in the clouds who wanted to take him on a fantastic adventure? What if...he went along? Would he be amazed at what he might discover in a world of limitless imagination?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A narrator with a pleasing child-like logic imagines what would happen if it stopped raining. Full-bleed images show a child bounding outdoors across a playfully tilted landscape and discovering a sunflower that rivals Jack's beanstalk. The child climbs high above the earth ("Up you went, quick as a monkey, hand over hand, leaf by leaf"), and encounters a curious new friend. "What if there's a girl there? (And you're not sure you like girls...) But this girl is AMAZING! She's called Arabella...." Arabella has the enviable role of teaching the boy hero to float on cottony cumulus clumps. When the dry air shrinks the buttercream-yellow clouds to tiny puffs, "Arabella shows you how to wave your arms to go faster" and sail safely home to the sunflower. In Italian artist Nascimbeni's paintings, which emphasize cool blue and molten orange, Arabella and the boy appear to be kindred spirits. Both have windswept caps of autumn-red hair, broad faces and weightless grace. At the end of this high-flying tale of potential and daring, Welsh author Shipton wisely rejects closure. Instead, when the boy leaves Arabella and descends to the ground, he finds himself standing at the door to an underground tunnel ("And there were steps!"). What happens next is up to the reader, who will probably have a few suggestions, and may well wish for another visit from this charming duo. Ages 3-7. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A vibrant imagination brightens a rainy day for a little boy. Peering through a window, the child wonders what might happen if the rain stopped and he climbed a giant sunflower into the clouds. There, he might meet an amazing sky-dwelling girl named Arabella. Together, they could voyage on clouds through storms, over deserts, and finally return to the sunflower. After a prodigious leap and a descent back to terra firma, the young narrator imagines stepping on a door in the ground...that may very well lead to future subterranean exploits. This is a believable portrayal of the excitement and trepidation that a child might project into an imaginary journey. The brief and simple text occasionally swoops and dives with the russet-haired sprites. The mostly double-page acrylic illustrations are appropriately awash with celestial blues, whites, and yellows. The artwork is flat with broad brush strokes, providing a solidity to this otherwise fanciful tale. The bird and bug pictured on the end pages make reassuring appearances throughout the escapades, and the stairs beckoning below ground encourage readers to extend the fantasy on their own. Fun to share with groups or read one-on-one, this just might stimulate the overly programmed and underly imaginative to exercise joyful creativity.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A carrot-haired lad is a latter-day Jack-in-the-Beanstalk in this fanciful tale, and what he finds in the sky is much more fun than an angry giant. "What if it stopped raining" begins the story, addressing readers directly, "and down at the end of the garden you found a sunflower as tall as a skyscraper!" When the lad in the pictures climbs the sunflower, his head pops through the clouds and he finds an amazing girl named Arabella. She teaches him to leapfrog on clouds, to go where the storms begin, to float over the desert, and finally to get back to the sunflower with his best jump. But what if, when he gets down to the ground, he finds a secret door and behind it there were steps? The typeface gets bigger and smaller, and slithers over the illustrations, whose acid-bright colors are equally eye-popping for the golden sunflower, the sky-blue-pink clouds, the darkling storms, and the deep red doorway. Collage is used for Arabella's flower-etched dress and the hero's remarkable patterned pants. (Picture book. 3-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803723900
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/01/1999
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.31(d)
Lexile:
AD390L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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