An ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.
★"The contrast between darkness and the area illuminated by a flashlight fascinates children, but this title kicks the fun up a notch. Three kids...are heading for a summer sleepover in the treehouse. Wherever the storyteller focuses the (flash) light, the real transforms into the imagined, and the green/gray of night fills with subdued color. The modest swimming pool inspires a pirate escapade; a rope ladder links to a hot air balloon rescue. The delicious language and ingenious metamorphoses, rendered in pencil and colored digitally, are tied directly to classic books stacked near the sleeping bags. A rousing read." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
"Newcomer Esenwine's balladic verse and Koehler's sturdily drafted pencil drawings don't just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play." – Publishers Weekly
"A flashlight becomes a gateway to a whole new world in this imaginative picture book. At night, three kids sit in a tree house, telling stories with only a flashlight to see by. Muted pencil illustrations show the nighttime scenery...while the flashlight beam cuts across the pages, illuminating more surprising scenes. Each double-page spread grows more fantastical...Despite the excitement, the gentle rhyming text will wind young listeners down and help prepare them for dreamland adventures of their own." -Booklist
"On any dark night, a flashlight illuminating shadows can create delicious thrills. Here,...(i)t's an old-fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure, complete with a pirate, an ancient Egyptian chamber, and traveling to a 'foreign shore.'' – The Horn Book
What If, Then We - Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Possibilities