Supposing - Alastair Reid,  Bob Gill (Illustrator) Having decided that The One That Got Away, though good, was for a younger audience than Claire, my soon-to-be six-year-old niece, I settled on Supposing... as one of the trilogy of books that I wound up mailing to her.

The book is not only about stimulating "unfettered thought" as the GR blurb says but is also an opportunity to discuss morals and the consequences of action. For example, what would be the consequences if you followed through on either of these two suppositions?

Supposing I collected old hair from a barber shop and sent it in parcels to people I didn't like...


Supposing I telephoned people I didn't know in the middle of the night and practiced my horrible sounds over the phone...

In today's hysterically paranoid atmosphere, the least that would happen is getting put on the TSA's no-fly list, and I wouldn't be surprised if your adorable little moppet didn't wind up doing a perp walk to an undisclosed detainment facility. (Can you imagine the late-night, emergency NSA meetings as our "intelligence" community tried to figure out how al Qaida had infiltrated the pre-school set?)

There are also suppositions, less creepy, that can prompt discussions about what's important and what's not, e.g.,

Supposing I had a great house with valuable paintings and furniture and things and I came home one day and it was all blazing and burned down and people came rushing up to me being sorry for me but I just laughed and took off my clothes and threw them into the fire...

And then there's just fun stuff like "What if I were bald?" or "What if I taught my dog to read?"

Overall, I liked the book and - as I am sending it to Claire - I can recommend it to parents everywhere. (Though I suppose I really should wait until my sister gets back to me about that :-)