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Reviewed by:
  • What If Everything Had Legs
  • Hope Morrison
Menchin, Scott. What If Everything Had Legs?; written and illus. by Scott Menchin. Candlewick, 2011. 32p. ISBN 978-0-7636-4220-4 $15.99 R 5–8 yrs.

A little girl, “sooooooo tired” that she doesn’t think she can make it home, asks “Mom, why can’t the house have legs and walk to us?” Her silly proposition then leads to an inventive discussion between mother and daughter about what would happen if various inanimate objects grew legs, a discussion that gets them all the way home where the girl realizes she is no longer tired. There is abundant language play in the dialogue, making this an entertaining selection for a readaloud (“Leaves would leave!”, “Rocks wouldn’t roll. But rolls could rock!”), as well as plenty of kid appeal in the selected scenarios (particularly the one in which toys put themselves away). The girl’s imaginative romp is brought vividly to life in Menchin’s digital compositions, which playfully juxtapose his comically stylized, emphatically lined art with photographic elements. While the situations are chock full of silliness, the spreads are spacious and clean, with lots of bare space and large planes of solid color playing background to the fantastical foreground details. In most instances, photography provides the inanimate elements and the legs and other accoutrements are drawn in, so that a red Mini Cooper has an illustrated pair of brown plaid legs and a bread roll wears hand-drawn tie-dye bell bottoms and white go-go boots. Parents will readily recognize the scenario in which you take a conversation and run with it for the purpose of distraction; kids will just enjoy the playful exploration of possibility inherent in the little girl’s imagination.



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p. 95
Launched on MUSE
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