Friday, April 5, 2019

If I Was the Sunshine

If I Was The Sunshine. Julie Fogliano. Illustrated by Loren Long. 2019. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence:
if i was the sunshine
and you were the day
i'd call you hello!
and you'd call me stay

if you were the winter
and i was the spring
i'd call you whisper
and you'd call me sing
Premise/plot: This picture book is written in verse. From cover to cover it is lyrical and celebrates nature.

My thoughts: What an expressive poem! If you're looking for an example of a poem in picture book format, then you couldn't go wrong selecting this one.

Now and then I am glad that reading picture books is subjective. It reminds me that a) there is a reader for every book and a book for every reader and b) I don't ever "have" to be that reader. OR in other words, I never have to force myself to "like" or "love" a book if I don't. I can take a step--or two or three--back and say there is a right reader for this book. As a reviewer I can say what is it about this book that will appeal to that right reader? Or to come at it from the opposite angle--what is it about this book that does not work for me personally.

Two things kept me from personally loving this one. Can you guess one reason? Those that actually know me could probably guess that the lack of capitalization and punctuation really BOTHERED me. I know it's an artistic choice. I know that writers--authors--have the right, the privilege--to not use capitalization and punctuation in their works. But this drives me crazy.

The second reason this didn't quite work for me was that while it sounded absolutely amazing in terms of lyrical sound...it didn't make much sense. There were exceptions to this rule.
if you were the thunder
and i was a cloud
you'd call me softly
and i'd call you loud 
or
if I was an apple
and you were a worm
you'd call me lunch
and i'd call you squirm
I wanted all the verses to make sense and not just two or three.

The illustrations were beautiful.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10



© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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