Saturday, May 26, 2018

Plan B? What If... by Samantha Berger

With paper and pencil, I write and draw art to create my stories that come from my heart.

But what if one day that pencil disappeared? I'd fold up the paper till stories appeared.

No paper for origami? There is wood to be carved. No wood? There are found objects all around. Colored leaves and flowers can be shaped into designs or fantastic shapes--perhaps even a fire-breathing dragon!

But what if there is no light to make the colors bloom?

I would still have my voice!

There are still stories to tell and songs to sing, and without a voice, there is still a world inside the mind to shape ideas--which is where it all begins in the first place.

Samantha Berger's What If... (Little, Brown and Company, 2018) celebrates all the ways there are to create, set off with the gorgeous art of Mike Curato, whose abstract design and swirling colors illustrate the way people embellish their world with art, poetry, music, and story.

Ancient pottery shards tell the same story. What did their makers have? Mud! How did they decorate their work? With thumbprints and fingernails! That they bothered to embellish a simple bowl tells us that the urge to create, to put our mark on our environment, to make a pot out of a puddle and a symphony out of silence is part of being human. That's just how we roll!

Language arts, music and art teachers will love this book and use it to encourage students to make something--even out of nothing. After all, that's the fun of it! Says Publisher's Weekly, "Curato's collaged and found-object illustrations meet the creative challenges that (Berger's) text all but demands with moments of giddy inventiveness."

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