Review: This Or That? by Pippa Goodhart.
What will you choose at the British Museum? Will it be a red toy car or a hot air balloon? A king with a sword or a lady in a gown? Written in a similar style to Pippa Goodhart’s ever popular ‘You Choose’ books, This Or That allows readers a first look at some of the artefacts held by The British Museum.
The double page spreads are themed by categories familiar to young children including transport, animals, clothes, and toys. These pages are laid out in an attractive format of squares and rectangles, which reminded me of a modern blog layout.
As well as picking their favourite items, readers can engage in spotting games which are suggested in the text. An index at the back offers readers the names of the objects featured in the book, and a QR code leads to more in-depth information about the artefacts.
With London an increasingly expensive place to live or visit, it is important that people in all areas have access to information about its museum collections. This early introduction too is inspired. Not only does it allow conversations about what a visit to a museum might involve, but it also allows readers to play their own games of curation. As an additional challenge, it might be nice to challenge readers to come up with a theme and pick objects which would fit that exhibition (ideas for themes include childhood, the great outdoors and entertainment).
I often say on my blog that reading is about so much more than the words. Or pictures. Time spent feeling rewarded by books, time spent enjoying books as a social activity, only makes us more enthusiastic to engage with reading again.
The popular format of You Choose is adapted to great effect to introduce a museum collection. Big thumbs-up to this playful approach to non-fiction.
Thanks to Nosy Crow Books for my gifted copy of This Or That? Opinions my own.