The Think-Ups

Candlewick. Jan. 2022. 40p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781536220124.
PreS-Gr 1–While waiting at home for the rain to end, dark-haired Anna and blond Kiki get tired of their usual indoor games, such as hide-and-seek and snakes and ladders. To keep boredom at bay, Kiki suggests they play “The Think-Ups.” “All you have to do is think up a Think-Up and it will appear!” With this simple rule, the girls take turns summoning imaginary animals. Bunnies, koalas, octopuses, and even a giant moose appear and entertain the children while wreaking humorous havoc around the house. When the chaos crescendos, Kiki conveniently thinks. “All Gone,” and peace is seemingly restored, the sun comes out, and the girls head outside with the promise of more high jinks from a “you-can’t-catch-me-lion.” Alexander’s sweetly cartoonish illustrations are very funny, though neither they nor the text resolves the ambiguity of whether the entire mess was real or imaginary, nor is there parental presence of any kind.
VERDICT Not an essential purchase, this delightful and imaginative romp will have readers giggling and wishing for Think-Ups of their own.

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