If I was the Sunshine – written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Loren Long

  If I was the Sunshine – written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Loren Long, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781481472432 (hardcover), 2019.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book?  “If you were a firefly, and I was the dark, you’d call me everywhere, and I’d call you spark.” This sweet and poetic picture book reads like a classic and explores human connections and relationships through those found in nature. The acrylic paint illustrations complement the poem and bring the rhythmic prose alive for even the youngest of readers, so that they may enjoy and understand the importance of connecting with those whom we love. The connections are often juxtaposed between silence and sound, or stillness and movement, adding a deeper layer to the nuance of the story.  It’s a perfect book to read at night as a calming end to the day, or during a circle time read aloud in a primary classroom. Children may enjoy crafting their own “if i was…” connections and illustrating them for display.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I wish that the author had not used lower-case “i” for the pronoun “I”. This book is geared toward a group of children who are just beginning to write and read and need accurate text models to emulate. This writing style could, however, be used as a teachable moment.

To whom would you recommend this book? Anyone looking for a bedtime story or classroom read aloud.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and elementary libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books or bedtime story collections.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 6/16/19

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