Skip to main content

Use Your Imagination (But be careful what you wish for!) by Nicola O'Byrne



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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …