Celebrating the power of imagination and friendship is a beloved topic of picture books, and Now What? embraces that tradition, though some seasoned readers will feel it does not add new ideas to a well-worn theme nor offer a new lens to differentiate it. That being said,both text and art feel genuine in their celebration of spontaneity, with the silly made-up words comprising the rhyme scheme feeling true to the overall whimsical tone and feel, especially when paired with the charming, watercolor illustrations. One particularly funny moment captured by Trimarco: Lizzy and Luna are stuck in the box during a rainstorm with their hair pressed up against the top, squishing their otherwise bouncy and tall tresses.
Despite the familiar premise, the heart that shines through this tale, as well as its humor, still make it a worthy addition to any picture book collection. Well suited to rainy day readings, or just as a reminder on those blah days, Now What? is a delightful tribute to the power of invention.
Takeaway: A cheery, rhyming romp that celebrates imagination, friendship, and living in the moment.
Great for fans of: Beatrice Alemagna’s On A Magical Do-Nothing Day, Samantha Berger’s What If…
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
What to Expect: Mindfulness, creativity, opportunity, friendship.
“Now what?” asks Lizzy, as she and her faithful dog try to decide what to do with the day. Playing ball, playing music, and even re-homing kittens seems to go just a little bit wrong, and there’s still so much time left in the day! Then, Luna appears, and now there are two girls to work out what to do next together. They swap stories, build forts and rockets, and play wonderful island instruments. Each girl gets to be their own unique self while having tons of fun together. “Now is what!” the girls conclude at the end of a busy, happy, unexpected day.
Now What? uses a playful fusion of images, sound, and text to draw the reader into each moment of play and discovery. The language bursts with unexpected rhymes and is as much fun to read aloud as it is to read quietly. Peter Trimaco’s lovely ink and pencil illustrations are also overflowing with rhythm and movement, and add wonderful touches of subtle humor (the dog’s antics with the kitten are especially hilarious). Each carefully crafted component contributes to the story’s mindful message about being true to oneself, present in the moment, and joyful.
Now What? is a happy, bouncy sort of book.