“Just Imagine a More Beautiful World” by Christine McDonald

“Just Imagine a More Beautiful World” by Christine McDonald 683 1024 Reader Views Kids

Just Imagine a More Beautiful World 

Christine McDonald
Independently published (2023)
ISBN: 979-8985444834 
Reviewed by Diana Coyle for Reader Views (01/2024)

In “Just Imagine a More Beautiful World” by Christine McDonald, she introduces teacher Mrs. Burns to her animal students on the first day of school. She knows they are excited and nervous at the same time, so Mrs. Burns decides to give an assignment to break the ice and allow her new students to relax. She asks the students to crawl under their desks and pretend they are all in a cave. So, moose, hedgehog, pig, and rabbit do as she asks. She then begins to hand out cardboard to every student and tells them she wants them to create their own world with the cardboard pieces. A world where they will always be loved and feel safe. In that world, there is to be one soft heart that each student can sit on and know that is the safest place to be. Each of the students works diligently to create their own safe little worlds in which they can return to their hearts whenever they need reassurance and love. Do the children enjoy creating their own little worlds? Do they learn that their heart is always going to be their safe place?

My first thought while reading this children’s book was how impressed I was that Ms. McDonald came up with the idea of having her character, Mrs. Burns, allow her students to create a safe world and have a soft heart to sit on in which they can return whenever they need love and reassurance. It’s a unique idea and reading how this book was inspired by her own experience of her very first day of school where she found herself scared and unsure of her surroundings, I felt this was a perfect little assignment that allowed the animal students to break out of their shells and learn to feel safe where they were in their classroom.

When I thought about it, I couldn’t come up with other books that present a perfect environment for children, animal children in this case, that had a world in which they could always feel safe and secure. It’s extremely important that children always feel confident and secure where they are, and school should be a safe haven for them at all times. I feel this would make an excellent little assignment for young children on their first day of school while they face the uncharted territory of being in a school environment.

The illustrations provided by Ms. Julene Ewert are not only vibrantly crafted but also whimsical and lighthearted, allowing children to be immediately drawn into what the animal characters are doing on each page. The illustrations are full-page, and I think children will eagerly want to turn the pages to keep seeing what moose, hedgehog, pig, and rabbit are doing next. This is her third illustrated book and I hope to see more of her work in future books.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this story and fell in love with the animal characters. I enjoyed seeing what each of the animals came up with for their own little worlds which they could return to for love and comfort. This book mentions it was created for the 4-10 year age range, but I think children the age of 10 years might find it a bit childish unless they are reading it along with a younger child. This would make a wonderful addition to not only classrooms and libraries but to your own home library as well. I highly recommend it! Well done, Ms. McDonald!

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