Thursday, May 20, 2010

WHAT IF? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

I picked up a copy of WHAT IF? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger at the Literacy Connection workshop a few weeks ago. I could tell immediately that it was a great find.

WHAT IF is almost wordless. There are only a few repeated phrases that tell the story. Most of the story is told in the pictures. The book explores the idea of friendship and feelings by helping the reader see how a story might end if people responded differently. This simple book helps us think about what it means to be inclusive vs. exclusive, how our actions impact others and more. Such a great invitation to conversations.

The way that the author tells her story is brilliant. She repeats a scene three times with 3 very different outcomes. The stories are quite similar in that if you merely skim the book and don't really take time on the illustrations, the book may not make sense. This is a story in which the pictures are almost more important than the words.

I almost never pick up a book that I don't see several possibilities for. I can see using this book to talk about life issues such as friendship, exclusivity, and decision-making. I can also see using it in a study of theme or when introducing the idea of cause and effect in a story.

To learn more about this book there is an interview of the author in May's issue of "Notes from the Hornbook"

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