What If One Day...

What If One Day...

  • ISBN: 9781592703838
  • Publication Date: September 26, 2023


Price: $19.95

A New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2023! An Academy of American Poets' Featured Fall Book for Young Readers! A Bookstagang Best of 2023 Winner: Best Illustration! This thought-provoking,  playful picture book from NYT Best Children's Book author Bruce Handy and Ezra Jack Keats Award winning illustrator Ashleigh Corrin plays with the idea of how life would be if certain of the things we love most were no longer here.

What if one day, all the birds flew away? Mornings would be quieter. Skies would be plainer. Worms could relax. What if there were no more bugs? What if there ceased to be day and night? By asking how our world would change if it lacked birds, water, or people, and how we would feel about that, this playful text from Bruce Handy (The Happiness of a Dog with a Ball in Its Mouth), accompanied by joyful art from Ashleigh Corrin (Layla's Happiness), invites readers to celebrate the beauty and wonder of existence, and all that makes our world what it is. So often, our gaze is on the future, on that better world to come, but what if the world as it is—with light and water, salt, earth, and animals, plants and insects, air and stars and French fries—is sufficient, and it is only us who have not known how to cherish it, or to love it all well enough? This book reminds us that all we need is here, if only we attend! 


New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2023! An Academy of American Poets' Featured Fall Book for Young Readers! A Bookstagang Best of 2023 Winner: Best Illustration!

New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2023! “Pondering hypothetical disappearances, Handy’s playful text and Corrin’s by turns quiet and ebullient pictures create a satisfying rhythm: Precious things (water, the setting sun) are taken from us, and then joyfully returned.”

—New York Times Children's Books Editor, Jennifer Kraus

“‘What if one day,’ the book begins, breaking the question across a page turn, ‘all the birds flew away?’ The answers are sometimes poignant: ‘Skies would be plainer,’ goes the text, set against a breathtaking expanse of blue, interrupted only by a baseball in flight and a child’s arm. And sometimes they’re funny: ‘Worms could relax,’ our narrator suggests, alongside an illustration of a few chilled-out specimens living their best vermian lives. Just as we’re becoming accustomed to this strange, birdless world, a miracle occurs: ‘But there are BIRDS!’ a double-page spread proclaims. Birds noisily, joyfully sing and flit about. It feels as if they might fly right off the page. Handy’s playful text creates a satisfying rhythm—precious things are taken from us and then returned—and he introduces enough surprises to keep it fresh over the book’s 80 pages. Corrin’s pictures are wonderful, by turns ebullient and intimate.”
—New York Times, Author Mac Barnett

“Engages in the sort of extravagant speculation that children love… An affectionate work that asks what might happen if commonplace things disappeared… every sequence in the book follows the pattern: First there’s a hypothetical, then outcomes both prosaic and fantastical, and lastly a friendly reminder that, in fact, there are birds and colors (and water and bugs and people). What if one day you read this book to some 3- to 8-year-olds? I think they’ll like it.”
—Wall Street Journal

? “This joyful prose poem by Handy, illustrated with playful, hand-lettered spreads by Corrin, approaches gratitude in an unexpected way: by considering the space that beloved entities might leave behind… Sequences propose and provoke, inquiring about a world absent of a given thing—water, plants, nighttime, insects—and then affirming that thing’s empirical existence. Following ‘What if one day...// all the colors faded away?’ the revelation of a rich reality bursts forth in rainbow shades: ‘But there are COLORS!’ Upbeat, sunny, and philosophically creative, these lines leave behind a sense of startled freshness that mimics the relief of having a bad dream, and waking up from it.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

? “What if One Day… is a fun and beautiful ‘what if’ book… Illustrations are filled with yellows, oranges and browns with rough edges and easy, swooping imaginative imaging… Lots of fun! Recommended for libraries that cater to the younger set.“
—Youth Services Book Review, STARRED REVIEW, Pam Watts, Head of Children’s Services (Robbins Library, Arlington, MA)

"Playful and introspective... There’s much humor here too... The text succeeds on many levels; children are subtly prompted to consider the effects of climate change (if there were no more people, nature 'could relax') yet to also ponder our creative contributions ('there would be no more music or art or stories or dancing'). Each scenario concludes with an exuberant statement in the affirmative to enthusiastically remind readers of the delights of their planet: 'But there is WATER!' and 'But there are COLORS!' The pitch-perfect ending invites discovery, asking us to contemplate the 'something' missing 'because it hadn’t been dreamt of yet.'"
—The Horn Book

“Handy’s latest picture book explores what might happen should different parts of our world suddenly be erased… Depicting racially diverse characters, Corrin’s full, vibrant spreads convey movement and stillness, humor and pensiveness, hitting just the right visual tones.”
—Kirkus Reviews

An Airmail Best! "A delightful new picture book explores one of children’s favorite pastimes: speculating about the future... Adults love what-ifs... And as any parent could tell you, kids love hypotheticals, too. What if one day, all the birds flew away? What if, one day, the sun never set? A new picture book written by Bruce Handy and illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin explores those questions, and others, playing through various scenarios while always reminding its young readers to appreciate the now... Gorgeously illustrated."

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