The Think-Ups by Claire Alexander

The Think-Ups by Claire Alexander. Candlewick Press, 2022. 9781536220124

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Fantasy picture book

What did you like about the book? Anna and Kiki are stuck inside on a rainy day, and they are tired of their old games. Kiki suggests playing “Think-Ups”: you just “think up a Think-Up and it will appear!” Anna is all in. Kiki thinks up a bunch of bunnies, and decides to be “Kiki Flower Blossom the vet” and tells Anna that she can be “Bob, my helper!” Anna doesn’t want to be Bob, and thinks up her own Think-Up: a huge moose. Kiki thinks up octopuses coming out of the toilet, and then there are koalas, and eventually all of the Think-Up animals get into the kitchen and there’s a huge mess. Just when it seems that the friends are overwhelmed with Think-Ups and a bit mad at each other, Kiki realizes that her friendship is more important than more Think-Ups. She makes everything disappear. It has stopped raining, and the friends decide to go outside. But, when they open the door, there is a surprise!

Three-quarter page flaps turn to reveal the Think-Ups in this inventive picture book. Digital art that looks like marker and paint nicely complements the story of two bored friends using their imagination. I really like how Kiki, the slightly bossier of the two, quells the nascent argument and chaos, so the story ends on a happy note.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 3-7, especially for families and story times when books about using the imagination are called for.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: April 6, 2022

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