WHAT IF? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Kirkus Star

WHAT IF?

Age Range: 3 - 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

What if two seals are playing with a beach ball and it rolls up on shore? What if one seal lumbers out of the water to retrieve the ball and finds another seal on land to play with? Seeger, who loves to play with perspective, presents three different possibilities in one situation (five, if you count the unwritten story of the boy and the ball on the cover and that of the seagull and the ball on the last page). Just when the story is finished—in this case, the two seals on the beach play together while the seal in the ocean looks on sadly—another possibility is introduced. Four square, sunny panels containing the ball and the first two seals (one brown and the other gray) introduce the three scenarios. The child reader, who stares directly into the eyes of the seals, is an unspoken member of the familiar friendship drama, too, wondering what will happen next. Never wordy, here the author goes beyond minimalist: “What if...? / And what if...? / Then what if...?” The faces of the seals, either playing happily or lonely and left out, draw young readers into the stories, inviting them to predict the conclusion. Simply gorgeous. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 27th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-398-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010




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