What Happens When…

This intriguing book for younger children explores the possibility of what happens to various objects when we lose sight of them. Each double spread asks what happens to lost items, such as 'what happens when my balloon floats up?'. Each question is offered a possible answer of sorts when you unfold the second page, in this example a happy alien is holding the balloon on a distant planet.


With minimal text and simple illustration, this book is a great starting point for imaginative play, as the solutions to each question are quirky and unexpected, encouraging children to come up with their own outlandish options. It probably does require an encouraging adult to engage with the child and book together, however.

Some spreads work well, such as the adorable snail that falls in love with a dropped and dirtied lollipop, and the sock that falls behind the radiator to be reunited with a missing pair of pants. Spreads like these are charming and funny, as well as fun for children to guess and suggest their own possibilities. Some are comforting, such as the lost teddy bear who plays with the animals in the school playground overnight. Some, however, might have the opposite effect. When the text asks what happens in a child's room when the light goes out, the resulting picture, whilst vibrant, is also a little unsettling.

This is a fun book that is enjoyable both to read and play with, but the illustrations are perhaps a little inconsistent. The last spread, though, will certainly fire imaginations.