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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What does it really mean when someone tells you “to think outside the box”? Does it mean to do things backward? Or upside down? Or to take things apart just to put them back together again – in a different way? Perhaps ‘thinking outside the box’ just means being creative. We were not made to be the same as everyone else or to think the same way as everyone else. So, why should we do everything the same way as everyone else? Why should we walk in a straight line on our feet, when we could be different and walk on our hands?
Justine Avery’s picture book story, Think Outside the Box, is ingenious clever, and very creative in its approach to encouraging young readers to be creative and to, yes, ‘think outside the box’. Using simple language and clear colorful illustrations, the author clearly presents the possibilities of looking at the world differently, of doing things differently, of being different. The presentation of the ‘thinking outside the box’ idea is well developed and described, making this little gem of a book into a personal journey of self-discovery and looking deep into our inner creative forces. For, as the author writes, “In a world filled with rules,/ Where there are so many different opinions,/ When you need to find your own way…/ Just think outside the box.” The illustrations for this directive have people lined up and following a path, some pointing forward and one person jogging along at his own pace. The message? Everyone will arrive at their destination in their own time, in their own way. Very well presented abstract ideas in a way so that young readers can comprehend the concept.