Think Outside the Box


Children - Educational
34 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

What does it really mean when someone tells you “to think outside the box”? Does it mean to do things backward? Or upside down? Or to take things apart just to put them back together again – in a different way? Perhaps ‘thinking outside the box’ just means being creative. We were not made to be the same as everyone else or to think the same way as everyone else. So, why should we do everything the same way as everyone else? Why should we walk in a straight line on our feet, when we could be different and walk on our hands?

Justine Avery’s picture book story, Think Outside the Box, is ingenious clever, and very creative in its approach to encouraging young readers to be creative and to, yes, ‘think outside the box’. Using simple language and clear colorful illustrations, the author clearly presents the possibilities of looking at the world differently, of doing things differently, of being different. The presentation of the ‘thinking outside the box’ idea is well developed and described, making this little gem of a book into a personal journey of self-discovery and looking deep into our inner creative forces. For, as the author writes, “In a world filled with rules,/ Where there are so many different opinions,/ When you need to find your own way…/ Just think outside the box.” The illustrations for this directive have people lined up and following a path, some pointing forward and one person jogging along at his own pace. The message? Everyone will arrive at their destination in their own time, in their own way. Very well presented abstract ideas in a way so that young readers can comprehend the concept.

Marta Tandori

Think Outside the Box is a spirited picture book for young children written by Justine Avery with artwork by Liuba Syrotiuk. The book introduces the concept of thinking outside the box to young children by presenting the possibility of tackling a problem, a puzzle or getting stuck in a sticky situation, or simply needing to find one’s own way. Avery provides examples of what is meant by thinking outside the box such as coloring outside the lines – on purpose – or doing activities like eating an ice cream cone from the bottom up. She also emphasizes that thinking outside the box always means being proud of your mistakes because they’re as valuable as when things are gotten right, which is an important life lesson unto itself, to be sure.

Think Outside the Box is a valuable message to children that cannot be quantified by any means. It prompts children to take the initiative and solve problems by themselves rather than waiting for others to do it for them. They become independent thinkers that will hold them in good stead as they grow to adulthood. It’s an important concept for use in schoolwork, for fostering friendships and for dealing with life’s challenges. Syrotiuk’s artwork is bright, colorful and has a layered feel to it, complementing the essence of Justine Avery’s story perfectly. Each page features what appear to be bits, shapes and things cut out from one place and pasted onto each page, giving the impression of a collage effect through the use of imagination and creativity. All in all, Think Outside the Box provides young children with a valuable introduction to an important concept in a fun and creative way.

Cheryl Schopen

Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery is a children’s book that teaches kids what thinking outside the box is, how to do it, and why it’s important. This story gives kids different scenarios and different ways to interpret the concept of thinking outside the box. Whether a child likes puzzles or writing or coloring, there is something for each child to relate to. With beautiful illustrations and a message that all kids should learn, this book is perfect for children and adults alike.

Not only does Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery give kids something important to understand, but it does so in a very clever and colorful way. I was immediately drawn to and so impressed by the illustrations. Every single page was uniquely created with beautiful images and colors. I just couldn’t get enough. A book in this genre would usually take me a couple of minutes to finish, but I must have taken a good 10-15 minutes reading this one because I found myself just staring at each page in fascination. I also think that this book can be very helpful. Kids may not understand what thinking outside the box means, and parents may have trouble explaining it.

I think this is the perfect book for parents to read with their children and have a discussion about it. If Justine Avery’s books are even half as good as this, I will definitely be purchasing all of them and including them in not only my daughter’s personal library but also my classroom library. Think Outside the Box is fun, engaging, creative, and incredibly beautiful.