5 years & Up
- Existenial Crises
- Intergenerational Relationships
I try to share a mix of books that address underrepresented topics and aspects of history in school as well as books that are joyful. There Must Be More Than That! is definitely on the side of sassy and goofy, and has been a breath of fresh air to me lately (because I’ve been power-housing a ton of biographies lately).
In the story, a little girl is contemplating how you can’t always trust adults because sometimes they’re wrong about the weather forecast. When her brother gets home he breaks the bad news that everything is terrible.
We’ve all probably seen and heard little ones go from 0-100 in two seconds flat, and this book is a hilarious example of that. When the girl stomps into inform her grandmother that everything is terrible, she responds in the best way possible. Taking her granddaughter seriously and also informing her that nobody can predict the future, she explains how liberating it is for us to consider just how many possibilities and outcomes there are. Empowered by this, the girl goes from 0-100 again and spouts off a myriad of egg cooking options for dinner.
There Must Be More Than That! takes a child’s existential crisis and helps assuage it in a witty manner. The illustrations are really funny, and I love the expressions of the characters. The blend of humor and reassurance that not everything is doomed (unless aliens really do take over) that’s found in this book really made my afternoon!
This book was a brilliant surprise from Chronicle Kids, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to review it. All opinions are my own!
Shinsuke Yoshitake (1973–) was born in Kanagawa Prefecture. He completed a graduate degree in plastic arts and mixed media at the University of Tsukuba. In addition to working as a commercial artist and producing sculptures and other art projects on commission, he has published books of sketches, including Shikamo futa ga nai (And There’s No Lid) and Ja kimi ga suki (In That Case, I Like You). His first solo picture book, 2013’s Ringo kamo shirenai (tr. It Might Be an Apple), is a plotless collection of fancies triggered by an ordinary apple; the work struck a chord and has been translated into several languages. He has followed with Boku no nisemono tsukuru ni wa (tr. Can I Build Another Me?) and Kono ato dō shichaō? (tr. What Happens Next?) in a series of what have come to be known as “concept picture books.” His sketches have won a following for the way they capture slices of life with an exquisite eye for detail.