Tuesday, 7 January 2014

What If...? Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne
What if…?
Double Day 2013 (HBK) 32pp. £11.99 ISBN 998-0857-53113-1

Former Children’s Laureate (UK) Anthony Browne, once again displays award-winning potential with his new book ’What if…?’
Joes going to a party, but like so many children is riddled with anxiety. What if…? Punctuates most of the conversation he has with his mother, as they amble along the darkening road to his friend’s house. What if he doesn’t like the food, the games or the people? As they search for the party house, they pass many sitting room windows displaying weird and wonderful scenarios, which in turn, mirror Joe’s anxieties. Browne’s visual communication is always multi-faceted with a surreal quality and dollops of black humour. He often references other artists and this time, Flemish painter, Pieter Bruegel the ‘Elder’ can be noted on the snakes and ladders double page spread. Despite Joe’s nerves, the story has a happy ending because he gets to enjoy the party and the last illustration shows a delighted and illuminated Joe with a ‘superman J’ on his t-shirt; clearly having overcome his difficulties. This is an excellent book, which will help any child with anxieties, as it is both entertaining and reassuring. A must for the school library. All ages (Anthony Browne makes picture books for everyone to enjoy.)


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