Monday, March 25, 2013

Picture Book Monday - A review of Oh! If Only...

I don't want to tell you have many times I have said "If only..." to myself or to others. Regret is hard to dodge or avoid. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Most of the time it is a useless feeling to have. In today's picture book Micheal Foreman tells the story of one boy's "If only..." moment, and in this case at least it is a funny moment, a moment that will put a smile on every reader's face.

Michael Foreman
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Andersen Press USA, 2013, 978-1-4677-1213-2
Sometimes bad things happen, and when we look back on the events that led to the bad thing happening we wish “If only…” If only we’d remembered to water the plant so that it hadn’t wilted and died. If only we had taken our medicine when the doctor told us to so that we hadn’t got sick again. Life is full of if onlys, but for most people not many them end up being that dramatic.
   In this story you are going to meet a boy whose If Only experience ends up getting him in terrible trouble. One day he goes out and meets a dog who is carrying a little red ball. The dog clearly wants the boy to play with him, and so the boy starts kicking the ball up in the air. Unfortunately, the boy is not very good at soccer and so the ball bounces down the hill, it frightens an old lady’s cats, which frighten some birds, which spook some horses that are walking in a parade. The spooked horses cause such as kerfuffle that the big parade is “wrecked.” What a mess! The problem is that this is not the end of the story. More chaos ensues and the boy’s situation gets worse and worse. And worse.
   Children are going to enjoy this very unusual picture book. They are going to laugh at the scenes that unfold, and they will wonder what is going to happen next. They will surely be surprised when they come to the last page and find out that the ending is, well, rather surprising.

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