Blog Tour: What’s That?

Thank you so much to Nigel for inviting me to be part of the Blog Tour for his wonderful picture book, beautifully illustrated by his talented son, Robbie.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

Carl Sagan (taken from ‘What’s That?’)

Siblings Idris and Umo are playing in the garden when they decide to have a race to the garage where they find a rather innocuous item: a piece of red material. The siblings immediately begin to use their imagination to ponder where the material could have come from …

I love how this story celebrates the power of the imagination by encouraging deeper thinking as the children start with the most obvious suggestions and then begin to think outside the box, suggesting much more creative ideas. The question ‘What’s That?’ leads the children to think about what the material could be from with both starting by making statements, but then framing questions and further statements as their imaginations take flight.

The story is written as a conversation between Idris and Umo in a straightforward style using direct speech within speech bubbles. There is plenty of opportunity for inference through the illustrations with fantastic use of body language and facial expressions.

I thought the ending was wonderful as it gives a perfect opportunity for an item to be introduced for young readers to have a go at answering their own ‘What’s that?’ question. I think that a class of KS1 children would have great fun reading this story, and then letting their imaginations take them on their own journey with a range of items.

The illustrations are gorgeous – wonderfully expressive and fun. I loved looking out for Wormington and Siago who will definitely bring giggles, and I think young children will enjoy spotting them too! In fact, I think they need to tell their own story!

This is a perfect picture book to unlock creativity in young children , and encourage them to have fun, explore and let their imaginations run wild – who knows where they will end up?

Do check out the other stops on the Blog Tour below:

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