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Friday, October 7, 2016

What To Do With a Box, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Chris Sheban. Creative Editions, Raincoast. 2016. $24.99 ages 3 and up

"You can climb inside
and there read a
It can be
a library,
or nook.

You can lock the door
with a magical

If you have kids, grown or not, you will know the allure of the cardboard box. There is nothing it cannot be, it seems. Jane Yolen employs joyful, poetic text to fire the imagination. The boxes can be big or small, plain or not so; each one is an adventure waiting to happen.

Chris Sheban ups the appeal with paintings drawn on cardboard of all types. Two children (and their pup) creatively construct a variety of scenarios using a box, art supplies, and ingenuity. Full of light and shadow, there is a feeling of warm familiarity on each page. The illustrations invite its young audience to take a leap of their own when a new box arrives. Suggestions are made through both text and art. What these two children do with their box is only the beginning. Many transformations can lead to endless hours of fun, all the result of seeing the wonder in a box. 

Read this book to little ones, and then grab back those boxes you have ready for recycling. I would love to be the fly on the wall as they explore the many possibilities afforded them with boxes large and small.

"Let the wild rumpus begin!'

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