A child who doesn’t like her choices discovers the revolutionary promise of thinking outside the box.

Having heard from her big brother (who got it from a grown-up) that the future holds nothing but hunger, disease, gloom, and doom, a young child rushes to her grandma for comfort. Comfort she gets, as Grandma assures her that grown-ups don’t know everything and there are many possible futures. This sets her imagination off and running, envisioning futures in which, for instance, “every Saturday is Christmas,” a certain pesky bully gets abducted by aliens, or “maybe I’ll fall in love and I won’t even care that I was bullied!” The line of thought leads to ruminations about false dichotomies. Perhaps something isn’t just good or bad. Maybe there are more options than simply loving or hating someone. (“I lovate you, Daddy!” she exclaims experimentally to a confused parent.) These deep thoughts come home to roost (so to speak) when her mom asks whether she’d like her egg boiled or fried—which sets off a positive flurry of possible futures for the egg. Yoshitake creates a vivacious cast, using dots, tiny dashes, subtle body angles, and expressive gestures to great effect. The figures in this Japanese import’s simple cartoon illustrations present as Asian, wearing casual dress and shown in minimally detailed surroundings.

Long thoughts and fresh heart for readers feeling helpless in the face of scary futures.

(Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8322-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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