What Can I Be? asks Ann Rand and illustrator Ingrid F. King. Everyday shapes (squares, triangles, circles, etc.) colors and lines are presented to you, the reader, and Rand offers possibilities for what they could become. Author and illustrator also encourage their readers to use their imagination to conjure other formations that these simple, everyday things could be. A green triangle could be a tent, Christmas tree, a kite, a sail of a boat or all of the above. The only limitation is what the imagination of the person looking can create.
The illustrations are created in muted colors, yet also have a certain brightness to them as well. Since they are created in an almost abstract design and the unusual size of the actual book, this is more of an art book then a picture book for children. While I could see this as a gift for a baby shower, for a Christening or other traditionally larger celebrations, it does not lend itself to a casual reading out loud easily. In fact, I would give this more quickly as a gift to an adult than to a child. Not that a child cannot enjoy Rand and King’s book, but it does not have the “action” that most people associate with contemporary literature.
The basic text is almost lyrical in nature and is timeless. Imagination never truly goes out of style. Both text and illustration will hopefully make you look at the world with new eyes and find out what you can be.