June 2016, Exisle Publishing, 32 pages, Hardback, Review copy
Summary from Exisle
This concept book for kids is all about unleashing creativity, thinking outside the square and opening the mind to possibility! Part picture book, part artistic inspiration, What Could It Be? is an interactive adventure for pre-primary and primary school-aged children organised into paired double-page spreads. The first spread in each pair introduces a basic geometric shape (square, circle, triangle, etc.) and then opens the door for creative thinking by posing the question, ‘What else could it be?’ The following spread provides the answer, with the focus shape transformed into many objects in a glorious artwork. These pages provide a further interactive element as kids are encouraged to find specific objects and count the ‘hidden’ shapes. The reader is guided through the pages by the character of a young boy, who allows many aspects of his world to be ‘discovered’ via the detailed illustrations. The last page challenges kids to create their own illustrations inspired by a geometric shape.
Please note, I wrote my thoughts before reading the book summary: I've left the explanation of each page in my review because I do include a bit extra than the publisher's summary. Each shape is introduced in the same way. First there is a double page with the shape named in a sentence, then on it's own in grey capital letters, with Max drawing the shape on the wall, then there's an example before a double page filled with lots of that shape. Readers are asked to find particular colours of the shape on the page, and there are plenty more than those asked for. I like how these pictures use settings around the home which readers will recognise, and I can see readers naming all the shapes where they are reading the book.
The highlight of the book was spotting Max's grandmother making a granny square blanket! Although crochet is for all ages... The other reason this doesn't get top marks is because Max draws shapes on the wall, which may have a tiny chance of encouraging readers to do the same, since it isn't in chalk or on an outside wall. Plus there isn't an answer page saying how many shapes on on the pages which asks the reader to find them. I like to know answers! Overall it is a bright and colourful creative read that encourages looking at our surroundings to see what shapes there are.
Find out more on the dedicated website.