'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 29 July 2019

Review: Arthur and the What-Ifs

Arthur lives next to lots of noise: a train station and a noisy restaurant.

But Arthur doesn’t mind. He quite likes noise — particularly the noise of his violin. And he likes the fact the noise around him means no one notices his own music playing. 

Arthur is incredibly shy about his talent. He doesn’t want anyone to know he can play because what if no one liked it? What if he made a mistake? What if people laughed?

So Arthur doesn’t tell anyone he can play, and he keeps his violin a secret. Until…

Arthur hears about a community jam session. The sign says everyone is welcome, but Arthur is just not sure if he’s brave enough to put himself out there. 

Arthur and the What-Ifs is a story about courage and learning to take good risks. Kids will really connect with Arthur. They’ll ask questions and ask for repeat reads because they understand the struggles Arthur experiences and relate to his fears and reservations.

This is a brilliant picture book for children. It will show them that worrying what people will think about them — worrying about all the what-ifs — is completely normal, but, also, on most occasions it’s unfounded. 

We worry and worry that we might be judged, but when we hide from the world we are only robbing ourselves of opportunity, and in most cases the opportunity leads to good things.

It’s a powerful message, but it’s brilliantly disguised within a charming story about the power of music and a community coming together.

And then there’s McKenzie’s superb illustrations! Colourful, detailed and filled with emotions, the story reads like a movie as you turn each page.

A beautiful picture book about finding the courage to step out into the light, Arthur and the What-Ifs is a winner!

Title: Arthur and the What-Ifs
Author/Illustrator: Heath McKenzie
Publisher: Affirm Press, $24.99
Publication Date: 23 July 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781925870398
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book