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If...

by Sarah Perry

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249577,086 (3.96)None
Illustrations present such imaginative possibilities as worms with wheels, caterpillar toothpaste, and whales in outer space.

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In this thought provoking book, the author offers ideas from an alternative universe and then illustrates. These alternative ideas include, "If butterflies were clothes..." and "If mice were hair." Find out which of these "if" statements is the most thought provoking or outrageous.
  campbell_m76 | Jul 30, 2020 |
Sarah Perry uses stark contrast between her writing and the pictures in this book. On each two page spread, she has a blank white page with the starter "If". On the other page is a beautiful illustration. For example "If leaves were fish.... On the next page is a branch with leaves that look like fish. Children of all ages can use their imagination to finish the sentence and create some of their own "If" statements.
  Debbie.C | Jul 23, 2020 |
A 25th-anniversary-reissue picture book, which I’d never before heard of, Perry’s surrealist work is attractive and novel enough, but ultimately unsatisfying. There is no plot, nothing to hold the disparate speculations, which make up its contents, together. I can imagine children enjoying the work and perhaps using the creator’s pattern as a model for their own fanciful speculations and images. Beyond that, however, I don’t see much point in the book. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Apr 22, 2020 |
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

If... is simple yet evocative. The first time I read through this book, I felt pulled in two different directions. On the one hand, I wanted to sit and stare at the pages without blinking. On the other, I was eager to discover what else this book had to offer. The illustrations are absolutely breathtaking, and I wish I could frame every single page and hang them around the house. It's like the author combined the silliness of Alice in Wonderland with the feeling of walking through a museum.

I recently learned this book celebrated it's 25th anniversary, and I'm really surprised I haven't stumbled across it before now. If... has profoundly impacted my perception of the world, and it's made me consider various other what ifs that are not addressed within the pages of this book. I am ecstatic that I get to share this wonderful work of art with my children, and introduce them to a new way of thinking that nurtures their imaginations.

My favorites: If dogs were mountains... & If caterpillars were toothpaste... They're all fantastic, but those would be my top two. My only complaint would be that I ran out of pages! Additionally, the Reader's Guide at the end was interesting and educational, but explained in a way that made you want to know and learn more. I cannot praise this book enough, and if it's something you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing, please do yourself a favor and borrow it from the library or just buy it outright.

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  doyoudogear | Feb 18, 2020 |
This surrealistic picture book is lovingly illustrated - "If mice were hair" is my favorite :) ( )
  jentifer | Aug 15, 2009 |
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