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If I Wrote a Book About You
by Stephany Aulenback
Illustrated by Denise Holmes
AGES: 4 - 8
PAGES: 32
SIZE: 9 x 9
RIGHTS: World
PRICES: $16.95 US | $18.95 Can
HARDCOVER: 978-1-927018-46-0

 

MBR Bookwatch, Lorraine's Bookshelf: 
"If I Wrote a Book About You" is a tender, poignant, "multi-media" book
about the wonder of a mother's love for her child. The "multi-media" refers to
a  mother's choice of message materials - dominoes, tree branches, sand,
cracker  crumbs, flowers, vegetables, even noodles in the soup! This mom would
tell her  daughter of her love using the stars in the sky, the freckles on
her face, and  the wrinkles on her mom's face. Matching the sweet intensity
of the narrative,  the charming, limited palette of aqua and shades of soft
peach illustrations  convey a sense of peace, wonder, and security within
limitless love. "If I Wrote  a Book About You" conveys the amazing certainty
of a mother's love, a never  ending miracle.

 

 

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2–A mother expresses her never-ending love for her daughter by sharing the words that she would use if she were writing a book about her. Each affirmation is expressed in familiar items, like the branches of the tree providing shade for a picnic or dominoes spread out on the floor. Preschool through elementary-aged children will be delighted to find the artfully designed vocabulary on each page, with the older children sounding it out, spelling it, or defining it. Each beautifully simple illustration in shades of orange, turquoise, and brown is reminiscent of another era. The crispness and clarity of each page is refreshing and pleasing. This book is sure to make a fabulous gift for new mothers and should appeal to all who appreciate quality picture books.–Amy Shepherd, St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

 

Pickle Me This Blog: If I Wrote a Book About You is a book about the curious places in which we writing our stories on the world, about the power of words, a vocabulary lesson, an exercise in imagination, a record of lovely quotidian things, and the ridiculous extent of parental love. You can also take any of the adjectives that appear within the story–charming, beautiful, clever, precious and sweet—and, like magic, they seem to apply to the book that contains them. 

 

CM Review

If I Wrote a Book About You is a sweet (but not overly so) monologue that a doting mother delivers on an ordinary day she spends with her child. In every situation she finds herself in with her daughter, the mother observes a winsome characteristic in her daughter that is then textually inserted in their surroundings and disguised in the everyday objects. Given the book's candy pink and robin's eggshell blue colour palette, it could fall more within the niche of a mother-daughter read aloud, though it does not need to be restricted as such.

internal art      This picture book exemplifies the alchemy of text and illustration done right as Aulenback's simple declarations pop with surprise and whimsy through Holmes' slightly retro, cartoon-like characters and line drawings. With a homespun simplicity, the story begins, "If I wrote a book about you and how wonderful you are, I would write it everywhere." The mother proceeds to do exactly that, describing how she would use the branches of trees to say the child is captivating, or "perfect" with the sand on the beach, until every situation the two find themselves in is an opportunity for the mother to re imagine the world as refracted through the lens of her child experiencing it with joy and candour. Aulenback and Holmes transform the quotidian into moments of wonder for both the mother and child. The variations on a theme have a soothing quality to them so that what the story lacks in narrative drive is more than made up for with its imaginative refrains, lovingly rendered into illustrations by Holmes, giving the child a lulling reassurance of the tenderness and constancy of a mother's love.

      The ending of the story also signals the end of a long day between the unnamed mother and child. While the mother readies her child for bed, she reminds the child of how lovable she is, with the word spelled out with the child's freckles. In turn, the wrinkles on the mother's face spell out to the child that "you are loved." The last spread repeats the opening words of the book, with a subtle variation: "If I wrote a book about you, I would write it everywhere, and it would tell all the world, and all the world would tell... how wonderful you are." As the jacket flap says, the book's message for the child is how beloved she is; the book's message for the mother is how the world is transformed when "a child makes you experience the world differently." The book succeeds in doing just that.

      If I Wrote a Book About You is an altogether charming picture read aloud, pitched toward the dual audience of adult reader and child listener. Without a distinct narrative, the story narrowly misses being overly repetitive through the delightful allure of the illustrations fully realizing the potential of the text. Since the adjectives used in the text are also found in each spread, a child reader may enjoy finding the word in the pictures, whether it is spelled out on a ribbon of road or in cracker crumbs on a plate. No doubt, If I Wrote a Book About You is a story that will feature in many a parent and child bedtime routine and is perfect as a gift book for any parent and any young child in your life.

Highly Recommended.