Two years ago, I reviewed Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nicola O'Byrne and loved it. O'Byrne has a playful story telling style that engages readers and a bright, painterly illustration style that always has a surprise or two for readers. In fact, O'Byrne reminds me of a favorite picture book creator of mine in both illustration and story telling style, the marvelous Emily Gravett. I am so happy to be reviewing her newest book, Use Your Imagination (But be careful what you wish for!)!
With the first page turn of Use Your Imagination (But be careful what you wish for!) I was smiling. O'Byrne has taken all of my favorite things - imagination, storytelling, and librarians and put them in her book! With Use Your Imagination (But be careful what you wish for!), O'Byrne has created a picture book that is the perfect map for a classroom lesson on story structure.
Under the guise of a helpful librarian, Wolf attempts to help Rabbit overcome boredom by making up a story. With nods to familiar fairy tales, Wolf invites Rabbit to "Use your imagination!" and use the "one way to begin a story, Once Upon a Time!" Wolf helps Rabbit decide what the story is going to be about and where the setting will be, tricking Rabbit into a forest and a chase. Just when things seem to be at their worst, Rabbit uses HIS imagination and turns the tables on Wolf with a fantastic four-page-fold-out that kids LOVE (I read it a few times in the library before reviewing). Best of all, there is a special cut out in the back cover that makes for a wonderful ending!
Source: Review Copy