We book a week off picture book reviewing for half term but we were very much still reading. We were also, thanks to this book, doing a lot of imagining and designing.
A World of Your Own is a fantastic starting point for a bit of creativity. It is all about what you – the reader – might want to do if you were to design your own world.
It is told in the first person and goes through some examples – told with mixed-media – that all children can grasp: their own house for instance. How might they make it more exciting? I like this because it allows every child – even ones who feel less creative – to come up with their own ideas. And parents too. It’s much easier to think of cool ways to change your own house than invent a new one altogether.
Ours would have a fireman’s pole instead of stairs (it sucks you up for the going up bit).
The book does actually ask questions of the reader – what would they put in theirs? – so there is an expected level of engagement, which I also like. I didn’t demand the kids go off and think of their own ideas, but they did straight away. They spent many hours coming up with ideas together, drawing some and then turned a heap of cardboard boxes into the buildings they had thought of.
Top tip: always have a heap of cardboard boxes for school holidays.
The kids especially love the bit about school. Even in a seemingly perfect world there is still school. But only on the first Tuesday of every month. And only the very important skills are covered – face painting and how to fit more than one cookie into a mouth at the same time.
I have heard that quoted back to me a lot this past week.
The book suggests that you can do different designs each time you think about your own world. (Though in our house I have made a rule that a marshmallow mountain that doesn’t make you sugar crazy is compulsory).
I like how open and non-prescriptive the ideas are. That is why the kids responded to it so well. It explores the concept of a self-created world in the same way that a child would.
There were some very cold, rainy days last week. I am very grateful we had this book. It is definitely a keeper.