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Would You Rather...
ISBN 1587172178 / 9781587172175 / 1-58717-217-8
Publisher Chronicle Books
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Given the choice, we think most kids would rather read John Burningham's books than taste slug dumplings, jump in nettles, or possibly even dance with a goat. However, in the delightfully silly Would You Rather..., readers are invited to play with these and many other ideas--absurd, gross, or tantalizing. A small mop-topped child lets his imagination run away with such personal challenges as, "Would you rather have supper in a castle, breakfast in a balloon, or tea on the river?" The oversized format is perfect for reading aloud, as long as the reader allows plenty of time for the audience to peruse the award-winning author-illustrator's humorous pictures (in one spread, the protagonist looks like he'd rather be anywhere but here as he is systematically crushed by a snake, swallowed by a fish, eaten by a crocodile, and sat on by a rhinoceros). For TV-weary children who have seen cartoon characters squashed and revived a thousand times, the nightmarish aspects of this reprinted 1978 charmer will not be overly alarming, but the faint of heart may want to look elsewhere for a soothing bedtime story... perhaps Burningham's own Hushabye? (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter [via]