From the expected to the surreal, Bailey imagines a world where kids make the rules.
Of course, every day would be your birthday, and of course, birthday cake would be good for you. You’d never have to make your bed, and if you wanted to travel, just take a pirate ship—or a rocket! In a world where kids decide what is best, Bailey presumes that everyone would want to be a prince or a princess and own a pet kangaroo, elephant or grizzly bear. Baths would not be mandatory, and you could wear whatever you want, even underwear on your head. Most of the suppositions are fairly mundane, but a few inventive moments sneak in—such as, all the sidewalks would be trampolines. The narrative’s final effort at justifying these silly, high-spirited rules is to say that “no one would ever forget how to / PLAY! / No way!” Huyck’s detailed, digital illustrations stretch the light tone even farther. Kids of all ethnicities crowd the pages, often in separate, humorous vignettes tucked within the backgrounds.
The reminder to play at all ages is important, but one wishes if kids did rule the world there might be an element of idealism as well, not just whimsy. (Picture book. 3-6)