Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Picture Book Monday with a review of Going Places

I know a lot of people who find it very hard to 'jump' into the unknown, to do something unconventional. It is scary to do, of course it is, but the rewards can be priceless. Today's picture book is about a boy who discovers that thinking out of the box and taking a risk can be truly wonderful.

Going PlacesGoing Places
Peter and Paul Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Reynolds
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2014, 978-1-4424-6608-1
Rafael has been waiting all year to have the opportunity to participate in the Going Places go-cart competition. He raises his hand so fast in class that his teacher gives him the first go-kart kit. The kit includes precise instructions, which Rafael really appreciates because he is good at following directions.
   With care, and following the directions exactly, Rafael builds his go-cart, and when it is complete it looks exactly like the one shown in the directions. Feeling pleased with himself and his go-cart, Rafael decides to see what Maya is doing. She hasn’t even started working on her go-cart because she is so busy drawing a picture of a bird.
   The next morning Rafael goes to visit Maya again to see how her go-cart construction is progressing, and he sees that she has built a flying machine. Of sorts. Rafael tells his friend that her creation is “cool,” but it isn’t really a go-cart. Maya challenges Rafael by saying, “Who said it HAD to be a go-cart?” At first Rafael isn’t quite sure how to respond to these words, but after some thought he realizes that Maya is right. No said that one had to use the kit to create a go-cart.
   There is nothing wrong with following directions. Nothing at all. However, when you dare to venture away from the instructions and to think outside the, box interesting things can happen. This is what happens to Rafael and Maya, who, by working together, discover that the sky is the limit when it comes to coming up with fresh, creative, and innovative ideas.
   This wonderful book will help young children to discover (and older readers to remember) that thinking outside the box can lead to grand shared adventures in creativity. 

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