Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk

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Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk

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Buy Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A bright, bold picture book to encourage imaginative thinking that will be super fun to share. One that will benefit from as much child and parent interaction as possible.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 36 Date: July 2020
Publisher: Suteki Creative
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1948124577

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Whenever you find a problem
Wherever there's a puzzle to solve
However you get stuck in a sticky situation
Just think outside the box

And so begins the latest picture book from Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk. It's a clarion call to children to use their imaginations and not logic alone when it comes to solving problems.  It takes the reader through all sorts of different situations where creative thinking could be called for: some are serious, some silly, some are really quite surreal. But the important thing is all are great fun and all provide an invitation for children to come up with their own ideas and solutions. The text is brief but always positive and encouraging and in that trademark Avery style which sometimes subverts rigid rhythms but is somehow simultaneously perfect to read aloud.

Liuba Syrotiuk's illustrations are an absolute triumph. They're bright and bold and energetic, befitting the theme of imagination and creativity perfectly. My absolute favourite was the upside down umbrella turned into a water collector. It's slightly subversive in a Heath Robinson kind of way but also shows how a crazy imagination can lead to very practical solutions. I don't know about the little ones but I could feel the big grin spread across my face as I turned this particular page. And there is plenty of room for discussion too - could you actually win a race by being the slowest? How? When? Is it silly or clever to eat an ice cream cone from the bottom up? Why? 

It's never too soon to show children that while necessity is the mother of invention, creativity is the process that takes us from one to the other. And that ideas, even the nutty ones, should always be shared and not buried for lack of confidence. I love the message of Think Outside the Box and I love the format too. At first, it appears a little bit repetitive but, when you think carefully about all the different ideas Avery presents, you can see the wisdom in all of them.

Sometimes, a picture book just works - do you know what I mean? Think Outside the Box just works. It's bright and bold and audacious. It has a simple message reinforced on every page. And it brings forth new details to notice and remark upon with every reading. But most of all, it gives children permission to let their imaginations free when they encounter a problem to solve. It exudes confidence and positivity. What's not to like?

Recommended.

Other picture books which encourage a child to think imaginatively and are delights to read and share include The Something by Rebecca Cobb, The Wonder by Faye Hanson and Guess What I Found in the Playground! by Victoria Thompson.

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Buy Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk at Amazon.com.

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