WOULD YOU RATHER. . . by John Burningham
Kirkus Star

WOULD YOU RATHER. . .

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Favorite childhood pastimes and mind play don't always survive translation to picture-book form, but Burnigham's free-floating, storyless imagination-stretcher is consistently felicitous. Warming up with an ingenuously visualized "Would you rather your house was surrounded by water, snow, or jungle," he then entertains, for example: preposterous disaster ("would you rather an elephant drank your bath water, an eagle stole your dinner, a pig tried on your clothes, or a hippo slept in your bed"); onomotopoetic indigestion ("would you rather be made to eat spider stew, slug dumplings, mashed worms, or drink snail squash"); cost-benefit trade-offs ("would you rather jump in the brambles for 25¢, swallow a dead frog for 50¢, stay all night in a creepy house for a dollar"); and empathetic speculation (the small child who represents "you" throughout is seen living with various animals in their cage, bowl, coop, or whatever). The pictures are wonderfully zesty, childlike, and droll; and Burningham's ending ("or perhaps you would rather just go to sleep in your own bed") makes the whole exercise a choice bedtime book, to inspire any child's musings as (s)he drifts off to sleep.
Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1978
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1978




MORE BY JOHN BURNINGHAM

ChildrenPICNIC by John Burningham
by John Burningham
ChildrenTUG-OF-WAR by John Burningham
by John Burningham
ChildrenIT’S A SECRET! by John Burningham
by John Burningham

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSPIDER SANDWICHES by Claire Freedman
by Claire Freedman
ChildrenTHIS OR THAT? by Brandon T. Snider
by Brandon T. Snider