Tai Snaith, You Might Find Yourself, Thames and Hudson Australia, August 2019, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760760335
You Might Find Yourself is a picture book of the imagination and what it can do. The mixed collage artwork is as imaginative as the possibilities the text asks the reader to consider, using everything from broken pottery and ceramics to paper and twigs to create the lovely images. The style of artwork is perfectly in tune with the nature of the text.
Each page leads the reader to a possibility that they might find themselves in, from real situations like sitting on a train or standing in a garden, to imaginary ones like a concert for aliens, and emotional situations where you might find yourself feeling hurt or small. And each situation gently asks the reader to stretch their imagination further, to think about what it might feel like, to imagine something that might help, or what they might do.
The focus of You Might Find Yourself is summed up in the last few pages of the book, where Snaith suggests ways for the reader to use their imagination to make the world better, from practical ideas such as picking up five pieces of plastic on a visit to the beach to more intangible ideas for increasing emotional awareness and empathy. Young readers are encouraged to come up with their own ideas for using their imagination to help themselves and others and the world at large.
The last pages also bring a different sort of fun and imagination back to the artwork. Snaith offers things to look for in the illustrations, similar to the I Spy books, in a way that is very accessible to younger readers who can’t yet read for themselves as well as older readers who can manage the text on their own.
This book is a fantastic one for readers aged 4 and up, and I could see it being used as a starting point by parents and teachers for discussions with young readers about how they think and feel, and to encourage emotional literacy.
Reviewed by Emily Clarke