Samantha Berger’s rhyming picture book, What If…, celebrates creative expression. A determined girl uses paper and a pencil to create her stories. But happens when her pencil is gone. She’ll shape the leaves. What if the leaves are blown away? She’ll sculpt in snow. What if the snow melts? She’ll use sunlight and shadows. What if everything is taken away?
This story promotes creative components of imagination, persistence, resourceful, and valuing creativity.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book for three reasons. First, when the main character is faced with obstacles, she chooses to use her imagination and resources around her to find ways to express her creativity. She does not let anything stop her. Secondly, I appreciate the last page of this book which states: “As long as I live, I will always create,” a personal mantra that I try to live by daily. Thirdly, my favorite question is what if because it promotes wonder. What if the world was square? What if I lived in another country? And so I ask you, What if?
TITLE: What If…
AUTHOR: Samantha Berger
ILLUSTRATOR: Mike Curato
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company, 2018
AGE GROUP: 4-7
THEME(S)/TOPICS: overcoming obstacles, problem solving
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, persistence, resourceful, valuing one’s creativity
1) Pick one of your favorite things to do. List the items you need in order to do your favorite thing. What would you do if those things were no longer available? How would you do your favorite thing?
2) In what ways are you creative? What would you do if you could no longer express your creativity in the way you always have?
3) Create list of “what if” questions. Share with your friends and see how their answers differ from each other. Teachers can use these what if lists for daily writing prompts.
To learn more about author Samantha Berger, visit:
To learn more about illustrator Mike Curato, visit: