Published: 1st August 2019
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Format: Hardcover Picture book (borrowed from the library)
You Might Find Yourself follows a small person’s journey as they navigate the world through their imagination. This charming and lovingly handcrafted picture book invites readers to examine notions of resilience and collaboration, while on the winding path that is life.
From eating green beans with a king and a queen to playing a hologram guitar from the future, You Might Find Yourself encourages an exploration of empathy and compassion. In weird and wonderful ways, Tai Snaith unleashes the power of our imagination, and on a journey full of possibilities, all you need to do is imagine where you might find yourself.
You Might Find Yourself by Tai Snaith is a book about using one’s imagination, not just for creative purposes but in order to create a better world. This picture book is subtle, but surprisingly thought provoking, asking readers of all ages to critically think through some scenarios and what they can do better.
Across each double-page spread Snaith gives the reader a scenario – such as finding yourself in a garden – and asks the reader to imagine what THEY could do to help. In the garden example, Snaith proposes the concept as a friend’s garden, and gives the reader a collage of an ocean bed with an Octopus. Here she asks “imagine what you do to help keep it beautiful”. At first glance, I didn’t notice the plastic bottles littering the ocean bed and caught up with the Octopus, but once you spot them, they are cleverly hidden everywhere. Thus Snaith is encouraging readers to think of the environment, recycling and looking after our friends both human and non-human. She is actively encouraging readers to become more empathic, compassionate and tolerant about the world around us and the people and animals we encounter along the way.
Snaith’s text is short and to the point, and yet the text is ambiguous enough that there are a variety of meanings that can be easily interpreted. Across each double-page spread, Snaith uses no more than two sentences (one per page) to propose the scenario and guide the reader’s imagination on each topic. This when combined with her clever use of collage creates a picture book that is duly aimed at the very young (the books age recommendation is four to six years of age) and the not so young (i.e adults reading). All of which makes this one hell of a powerful picture book.
You Might Find Yourself was long-listed/noteables for the CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood award 2020.
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