A Book Review: "What If" by Brittany Muttillo
Targeting young, inquisitive minds grappling with the complexities of individuality and social acceptance, "What If" by Brittany Muttillo, and illustrated by Jayme Jacobs offers more than just a story; it's a comforting journey for its readers.
At the heart of "What If" lies a simple yet profound narrative inspired by the author's niece. The story revolves around a little wolf pup, navigating a world filled with "what if" questions—a tale that resonates deeply with its young audience who are just beginning to navigate social situations. It's a gentle guide in embracing one's uniqueness, even under the scrutinizing gaze of peers. This narrative is bolstered by the reassuring reminder that their 'Wolf pack'—a metaphor for family—remains a constant source of support, regardless of life's many 'what ifs.' Jayme Jacobs' illustrations in "What If" are dreamy and whimsical. Utilizing soft brush strokes that blend a wide array of colors, Jacobs brings relaxing scenic images of green fields, mountains, and sunsets to life on every page.
"The central themes of "What If" are both timeless and timely. Muttillo skillfully addresses the concept of individuality and the challenge of facing judgment, particularly from peers. This is a crucial lesson for children who are just starting to find their place in the world. The book also emphasizes the importance of familial support, embodied in the 'Wolf pack.' This metaphor beautifully illustrates the idea that family, whether by blood or bond, is a haven of unconditional acceptance and love. Such themes are essential in helping children understand and value their uniqueness, and in teaching them that being different is not just okay, but wonderful.
"What If" serves as a valuable resource in today's world, where children are often exposed to varied social situations at a young age. It can spark meaningful conversations about individuality, peer pressure, and family support. By reading and discussing this book, parents, teachers, and caregivers can help children navigate their feelings and thoughts about fitting in and standing out, providing a framework for understanding and acceptance that can be carried through to their everyday interactions.
I would recommend this book for its ability to engage, educate, and reassure young readers. For parents, teachers, and caregivers looking to encourage discussions about individuality and support, "What If" is a great choice.
Want to learn more about the author? Follow Brittany Muttillo on Goodreads!
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