Would you come too?

Liz Garton Scanlon

Book - 2022

Illustrations and rhyming text explore playing outside and immersing oneself in nature.

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Children's Room Show me where

0 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Scanlon Due May 5, 2024
Stories in rhyme
Picture books
New York : Beach Lane Books 2022.
Main Author
Liz Garton Scanlon (author)
Other Authors
Diana Sudyka (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
32 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Ages 0-8
Grades 2-3
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

A group of children with varying skin tones live in a small cluster of wooden homes gathered around a river that flows to the sea. In this celebration of the natural world, one child in a red shirt stands out against the appealing landscape composed of lush greens, deep blues, and soothing grays. A neighbor comes out to play, then they are eventually joined by three more. In this simple outdoor setting, no technology or adults are present or needed. Breezy, rhythmic text effectively captures small elements of nature in language young children will understand and enjoy, inviting them to consider their surroundings in new ways. What if we were walls, the wind, or a pond? Perhaps a muddy bank, birds, or a seed? Watercolor gouache illustrations, finished digitally, combine fantasy and realism as the children discover and consider different parts of the scene. The characters explore the outdoors in an atmosphere of safety and freedom, resulting in a narrative that could inspire both contemplation and adventure.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A day in the forest generates a oneness with nature in this rhyming paean with distinctive, polished verse. Opening with the refrain "If we were," meandering lines envisage what it would be like to be the wind, a pond, tadpoles, a spring, and so on. Employing watercolor gouache and digital art, the illustrations interpret "we" as beginning with two friends before gradually expanding to other playmates. Over the course of a leisurely hike, the children, portrayed with varying skin tones, swim among fish, make twig boats, build a fort, climb trees, and more. While most pages feature realistic depictions, images sometimes turn to fancy, as in a largely green spread of the kids reaching upward like plants ("If we were seeds we'd be hopeful,/ reaching for water and light"). When night arrives, swirls and stars provide an ideal, dreamy close to what Garton Scanlon and Sudyka present as an idyllic experience of the wild. Ages up to 8. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--This book invites readers to explore the outside world, describing multiple aspects of nature and leading from one thought right into another, from the safety of home all the way to the ocean and back again. For example, something like a nest may be mentioned on one page, but is the focus on the next. "If we were a nest, we'd be cozy, / woven with feathers and strings. / If we were eggs, we'd be safe there, / hidden beneath pleated wings." The vocabulary is simple, with a few upper-level nature words thrown in, such as eddy, but are always clear from either narrative context or the illustration. Scanlon provides amazing encouragement for children to go outside, get muddy, and explore, a message only enhanced by Sudyka's illustrations. Her cool, rich watercolors perfectly encapsulate the feeling of wonder and discovery. VERDICT A beautiful ode to nature that flows from individual exploration to having fun with friends at the end of the day.--Margaret Kennelly

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

"If we were walls, we'd have windows, and we'd throw them open wide." A child with brown hair and dark skin invites a red-haired, light-skinned friend to come outside to play; together, the two immerse themselves in the natural world and in their imaginations. They begin at a backyard pond ("If we were a pond, we'd lap in the breeze") before venturing to the banks of a stream ("If we were a bank, we'd be muddy") and building a nest near a tree ("If we were eggs, we'd be safe there"). Sudyka's (How to Find a Bird, rev. 7/20; Dear Treefrog, rev. 5/21) digitally finished watercolor gouache illustrations are full of movement and soothing rounded shapes. The pictures -- with swirls of blue water and creatively rendered creatures -- interpret Scanlon's (One Dark Bird, rev. 7/19) poetic verse beautifully, blending fantasy and awe. Three more friends join in the play, and the text directly addresses readers: "Would you come too, if we asked you -- would you run all the way to the sea?" Finally, when "the day turn[s] to darkness," the journey ends back where it started -- at home. An irresistible invitation to readers to take in nature and all the world has to offer. Grace McKinney May/June 2022 p.130(c) Copyright 2022. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

An imaginative, poetic picture book invites kids into the natural world. The story follows three children--one brown-skinned, one Asian-presenting, and one White--as they envision themselves as elements in nature. Readers will feel compelled to imagine what it would be like to be a creek or a nest, a spring or a seed. Using many attributive adjectives and verbs of motion, each of the text's rhyming quatrains starts with the refrain "if we were": "If we were rivers, we'd run, boundless and wild and free"; "if we were rocks, we'd sit still," and so on. Energetic watercolor gouache illustrations show the children moving through a forest, stopping by a pond, and running alongside a river as they head to the sea before darkness falls, prompting them to return home. There is the questionable use of a wigwamlike structure to represent a bird's nest that the children sit inside, but most of the imagery is rooted in the flora and fauna of a woodland area. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A lyrical meditation on the magic of outdoor play that's creditable for its back-to-nature message. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.