Now What?

Children - Concept
46 Pages
Reviewed on 08/05/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

BRENDA FAATZ has an undeniable connection with children. Some say it’s because they instinctively know “one of their own.” A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Musical Theatre, Brenda is a professional singer, dancer, actor, writer and director. She has penned music, lyrics and scripts for original musical theatre works for children, and is the founder and director of the Notable Kids Arts Center in Denver. While collaborating with her husband and illustrator
Peter Trimarco, Brenda has authored the “It’s Just So” children’s book series because, as she likes to say... “no one ever told me I couldn’t.”

PETER TRIMARCO started his professional doodling career as an editorial cartoonist before turning to commercial art and designing packaging for the music industry. While staying in the entertainment field, he published a trade magazine for the film industry and brought his creative juices to the printed page for youngsters. He is a graduate of Lake Forest College, where he studied Literature and Fine Arts. Peter is the illustrator of “Ella McBella In The Dark” by Laura Pells, and the “It’s Just So” book series, which he co-created with his wife, Brenda.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite

Now What? written by Brenda Faatz and illustrated by Peter Trimarco is a children’s picture book about a little girl named Lizzy who is doing her best to create her very own fun-filled day. But every activity either tends to go amiss in some shape or form or its enjoyability expires. This is when Lizzy finds a way through her own imagination to salvage what comes out of the day and is able to continue to turn each delight gone wrong into something positive and entertaining. Along the way she encounters a new friend who also finds activities for them to indulge in. Now What? by Brenda Faatz is delightfully written and has a rhyming scheme that will have you and your children reading in a sing-along fashion.

Illustrated by Peter Trimarco, Now What? is a beautifully created story filled with images that are reminiscent of the Sunday funnies that forever hold a place in everyone’s hearts. These playful and charismatic artworks can’t help but make you smile as you continue to flip the pages until the very end. The kittens in particular stole my heart as if they were real, just as I’m sure they will steal the hearts of the younger folk as well as those that are still young at heart. Now What? by Brenda Faatz and Peter Trimarco is a story of newfound friendship as well as learning how you can be completely present and in the moment, and how important it is.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Now What? is a children's picture book by author Brenda Faatz and illustrator Peter Trimarco. Lizzy loves to play, and she keeps active all day long. When one activity loses its appeal, she quickly finds something else to do. She constantly asks the age-old question: “Now what?” When she notices a moving van nearby unloading boxes and a little girl, Luna, just her size, standing alone looking lost, Lizzy steps right up and introduces herself. The girls end up having a very creative, imaginative day, playing inside and around the moving boxes that soon reveal the family’s treasures. It doesn’t matter that Lizzy and Luna look different and were born in different countries. The bond is evident, and they are instantly best friends.

Brenda Faatz and Peter Trimarco’s picture book story, Now What? is a sweet, heartwarming story about two little girls who like to have fun together. It’s also a story about diversity, but the two girls don’t see themselves as different, which makes this point so poignantly clear. If we could only see things through children's eyes, the world would be a better place. The story is told in simple language so a young reader can follow along easily, and they will quickly recognize the repeated phrase “now what?” to join in. It's sure to give them a little chuckle every time it’s shared in the story. The question will also inspire young readers in the same way it inspired Lizzy and Luna to be creative in their play, using their imagination and curiosity to overcome the frustration of rain spoiling their fun. The colorful illustrations help carry the action along, resulting in a beautifully told and well-presented story.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Now What? by Brenda Faatz and Peter Trimarco welcomes back Lizzy, the well-known and lovable character from the “It's Just So” series. Through lyrical rhymes and fabulous illustrations, come see what a day in Lizzy’s life is like. A day that teaches Lizzy so many things, especially when she meets Luna, her new neighbor straight from the Caribbean. Luna and Lizzy jump, dance, play, and color their way through the day, learning to live in the moment and making the most of what life throws at them.

Now What? by Brenda Faatz and Peter Trimarco is a wonderful book for kids. It has some cool illustrations that bring the rhyming story to life as the children use whatever is at their disposal to pass the day. It’s the kind of story that kids will enjoy, not just because it’s a wonderful tale but because it teaches them to live in the now and not worry about the future. It teaches them to be accepting of new things in life and it teaches them how to make the most of what they have; to be creative and simply enjoy life to the fullest. I’m sure that most parents reading this book to their children will be nostalgic, thinking about their own carefree days before the reality of becoming an adult set in. And, if there’s one more thing this book does, it's to teach adults that sometimes you just have to let it all go, push real-life to the side, and enjoy yourself with carefree abandon! A wonderful book for kids and their parents to read, perhaps a great addition to the school reading curriculum?

Shannon Winings

What is there to do on a cloudy, dark, and dull day? Lizzy certainly has plenty of ideas. In Now What? written by Brenda Faatz and illustrated by Peter Trimarco, readers follow Lizzy and her wonderfully happy pup as they decide what to do on such a grey day. From playing music to finding kittens outside, Lizzy cannot stop. She goes from one task to another, one activity to the next. Despite doing so much, she continues to ask what's next. Yet, just before the rain starts, Lizzy makes a beautiful discovery that will change her afternoon for the better, despite the darkness of the day. Pick up Now What? to see what adventures Lizzy and her dog enjoy.

Now What? is a fun, spunky book for young kids to read, especially on a dull day where they can't find much to do. Lizzy teaches young readers all about the tremendous fun that can be had in just a day. However, she also teaches them that they can simply enjoy the moment instead of having to bounce between a hundred different activities. Further, Brenda Faatz explains to children how to be accepting of others, despite how they may appear to be different. Anyone can add to the fun you wish to have. Now What? is a perfect book for teachers and parents to read to elementary children. Kids will enjoy the antics that Lizzy and her dog get into while educators and parents will appreciate the lessons within the story.

Joe Wisinski

Now What? by Brenda Faatz is the story of a young girl who is unsure about how to spend her day. She works through various activities, such as bouncing a paddle ball (with unfortunate results), playing music, and playing with her dog. Finally, she meets a new neighbor named Luna, who is about her age. The two girls quickly become friends and engage in many different and fun activities together. Now What? consists of rhymes such as this one, when Lizzy’s dog wanted to play ball and dropped the ball from his mouth onto her: “Wet ball and all with a leap and a bound, Lizzy went out with her light-hearted hound.” Peter Trimarco illustrates the book, and Lizzy is also the protagonist from the It’s Just So book series, also written by Faatz.

Now What? by Brenda Faatz is a charming book for children. The publisher says the book is for ages 5 to 7, but younger children, especially those at the age when they first want to be read to, would also enjoy having Now What? read to them. They will enjoy the story and the rhyming. The rhymes are not forced but are amusing. Illustrator Peter Trimarco’s artwork perfectly captures Lizzy’s activities. Lizzy’s new friend is of a different ethnicity, and the beauty of that is that nowhere in the text is it mentioned that Luna’s skin color is different. We only see it in Trimarco’s illustrations. That sends the right message to children. I recommend Now What? to parents or grandparents of young children.

Carla Trueheart

Now What? by author Brenda Faatz is a children’s story that follows young Lizzy who is struggling with finding the next fun thing to do with her day. She quickly hops from one task to the next, only wanting to get to the next fun and exciting experience until a surprise arrives in the form of a new friend, Luna, who is moving into the neighborhood. The two look a bit different, but they have a lot in common and form a fast bond, playing together, making a spaceship from boxes, and having fun with games and chalk art. At the end of the day, Lizzy is no longer bored and bouncing to her next activity, but finds that she is content to be together with her new friend Luna.

With simple and fun illustrations, colorful backgrounds, and cute animals, Now What? is sure to be the perfect next-read for any child. What author Brenda Faatz has done so well is to show the essence of a child’s day—growing bored and anxious to move on to something new—and explore that while providing an overall theme of living in the moment. This is done expertly, without forcing the message on children, and also with a touch of diversity and love. I absolutely adored everything about this book, from the illustrations to the rhyming passages, and would recommend it to any parent looking for a children’s book that is realistic and provides a strong theme of friendship.