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What If...


THIS IS A GIRL determined to express herself! If she can't draw her dreams, she'll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can't do that, she'll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she'll sing, dance, and dream. Mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.

     "This extraordinary book will make it hard for any child reader to settle for the mundaneness of reality." Kirkus

"uplifts and demonstrates the unstoppable spirit of creativity" Booklist

"Curato’s collaged and found-object illustrations meet the creative challenges the text all but demands with moments of giddy inventiveness." Publishers Weekly

"This inspirational read-aloud provides ample opportunity for discussion and creation from beginning to end. A necessary addition for most collections." School Library Journal

Learn more about the making of What If...

Nerdy Book Club: WHAT IF...We Told You the Story Behind the Story?

Read how a horrible flood, some candle wax, and a whole lot of flowers contributed to the creation of this story.


7 Impossible Things: WHAT IF...Mike Curato Used Mixed Media to Make a Book? Take a behind the scenes look at how this book was illustrated!

Pragmatic Mom: WHAT IF...We Used Our Creativity to Overcome Obstacles? Samantha writes about 3 inspirational people who used their creativity to change the world (and inspire this story).

Kidlit Frenzy: WHAT IF...Two Best Friends Made a Book Together?

It's pretty rare that two friends get to make a book together. Read about the friendship behind the story.

Watch Connect Read: WHAT IF...We Revealed our New Book Trailer?

We finished Mr. Schu's famous sentence starters with a twist!

And here's my special What If... book release post on my blog. Yes, there's more mushy stuff and people to thank...

Best Children's Books of 2018

Huffington Post


Best Picture Books of 2018

Chicago Public Library

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2018 Nerdie Awards:

Fiction Picture Book Selection

Nerdie Book Club


2019 2x2 Reading List
Texas Library Association

Best Children's Books of the Year 2019

Bank Street College of Education


2019 Children’s Choices Reading List

International Literacy Association &

Children's Book Council

Samantha and I stop by The Children's Book Podcast talk, joke, and sing with Matthew C. Winner about What If... 

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