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What If ...?    by Anthony Browne order for
What If ...?
by Anthony Browne
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Joe has been invited to a birthday party by one of his friends but he's not sure he wants to go. What if he doesn't know the other guests or can't play the games? To complicate matters, besides his worries about feeling comfortable at the party, Joe has also lost the invitation.

His mother says she'll help him find the correct house and, as they walk down the street looking at the fronts of the homes and peering into the front windows (hoping to see a party going on), the boy's mother tries to relieve some of his anxiety.

As they peek in the windows, Joe and his mother see some pretty weird sights. In fact some of them increase the child's party angst. Finally they do find the correct house and, naturally, Joe has a good time.

A lot of young children experience a little first birthday party stress and this humorous picture book might help relieve some of it. On the other hand, some of the window scenes are a bit scary and actually may not help the situation. I would use this book with an older child, say at least five or six. Stress the funny parts and downplay some of the more raucous scenes and you should be OK.

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