If Only… by Mies van Hout | Book Review

Book Review of If Only…
The Children’s Book Review

If Only by Miles Van Hout: Book Cover

Written and Illustrated by Mies van Hout

Ages 4-7 | 32 Pages

Publisher: Pajama Press | ISBN: 978-1-77278-196-0

What to expect: Gratitude, Kindness, Self-Love

It all started with a child who wished to be something else: a butterfly. Then, one after another, creatures wished to be something else. The butterfly wished to be like a stick insect, who could crawl by without attracting quite so much attention. On and on it goes, until the beautiful dragonfly sees a child and thinks – if only I were a child! What a serendipitous loop!

With gorgeously bold illustrations and creative text, Mies van Hout’s IF ONLY… is a wonderful thought experiment and journey for young readers. Everyone sometimes envies or wishes to be like someone or something else. But have you ever stopped to think that perhaps they are also insecure about something, and might also wish to be someone else? This gentle story kindly explores the idea of being happy with oneself, and celebrating the unique and wonderful things we have that others might wish they had too!

The soothing and colorful garden landscape, and wide-eyed garden creatures, make this book fun and accessible for younger readers. The story and lesson are well suited to younger children and even to older children, who might find that they compare themselves to others much too often. Young readers will giggle at how silly it all is – everyone wishing to be someone else! A great lesson taught with kindness, IF ONLY… is a fantastic addition to your child’s library, and would be well-suited to a classroom.

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Mies van Hout

Mies van Hout is the author and illustrator of the picture books Happy, Friends, Surprise, and From One to Ten, among others, which have been hugely popular in Europe and North America. She studied graphic design at the Arts Academy in Groningen, the Netherlands, and has worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer since 1989. Her distinctive paintings are cheerful and bold, and her work has been published in more than twenty countries.

If Only… by Mies van Hout was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like If Only… by following our reviews and articles tagged with Gratitude, Kindness, Mies Van Hout, Picture Book, and Self-Love.

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January 4, 2022 at 09:26PM Bianca Schulze