Monday, February 29, 2016

Picture Book Monday with review of What to do with a box


When I was about nine years old my parents had something shipped to our house that arrived in a very large box. I was thrilled when they said that I could have the box, which a friend and I turned into a house, complete with windows and a door that could open. We drew pictures on the wall and kept all our 'treasures' in that house for as long as it lasted. That box was a fantastic gift, and on this Picture Book Monday we celebrate boxes in all their wonderful charboardy glory.

What to do with a box
Jane Yolen
What To Do With a BoxIllustrated by Chris Sheban
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Creative Editions, 2016, 978-1-5685-46-289-9
When an adult looks at a box he or she sees a container something that can be used to store things in, or transport things from one place to another. In short, a box is a tool. A simple object. However, when a child sees a box he or she sees “a strange device” that can be opened many times and that offers up endless possibilities.
   For one thing, a box is the perfect place to read a book. It could therefore be called a “library.” It is a safe place, a cozy “nook” from which to watch the world go by. These are more practical, down-to-earth uses for a box
   If you are willing to trip down the road into the world of magic and imagination, a box can become a race car, a plane, a ship that can sail “off to Paris / and back.” Why, with a box in hand, you will have “the only / such magic / that you’ll / ever need.”
   Ever since cardboard boxes have been around, children have played in them. Often parents, after going to a great deal of trouble to find the perfect gift for their child, find that their little treasure is happy to play with the box that the gift came in. The gift itself lies on the floor, ignored, while the box is turned into a house, a space ship, or a fort.
   This wonderful book, with its minimal rhyming text and its gorgeous artwork, is a treasure that children will love. Grownups too will enjoy tripping down memory lane as the narrative unfolds, remembering how they too took long journeys and had grand adventures in boxes when they were children.

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