A child’s imagination is a wonderful thing, and in recognition of this fact, there is no lack of picture books that delve into a youngster’s world of fantasy.
What makes this one different is the format. Designed to be rotated 90 degrees to read, with thick pages that turn toward readers, each spread depicts a new imaginary scene via a series of graduated and mitered panels like colored tab folders. In first-person voice an ebullient girl asserts, “In my room, I can go anywhere I want to, and be anything I want to be. All I need is paper, crayons, chalk…and my imagination!” Her scrawling drawings evoke her pretend worlds in subsequent spreads as explorer, princess, writer, sailor, swimmer, bride, veterinarian, and rock star. The girl’s black-and-white line figure sports a red hair bow, paper-white skin, and rosy cheeks, with appropriate accessories for each pretend role. As explorer, two horizontal lines of red on each cheek evoke “war paint,” although the colander on her head confuses easy associations. Lots of white space effectively focuses attention on the girl, and swirls of crayon colors lend an aura of childlike spontaneity. The latest in Witek and Roussey’s Growing Hearts series (All My Treasures, 2016, etc.), this is a room full of appeal.
A clever acknowledgement of the importance of imaginative play. (Picture book. 3-5)