The Books

What If

by Anthony Browne

One Potato Review

Soulful and surreal. New in town, a boy and his mother go out searching for the address that appears on a birthday party invitation, and the windows they peek into are all sufficiently menacing to make you wonder if the boy isn’t right and they shouldn’t just forget the whole idea. There’s a creepy old couple sitting around in an apartment decorated with space travel tchotchkes, Breugelish brawlers, wriggling snakes, and a roomful of overgrown jockeys (it looks like) playing cards and feasting on worms, among other unidentifiables. A routinely cheerful outcome never quite outruns the oddities here, and thank goodness for that. With a graceful wisp of pathos at the end that marks this as pure Browne, flying gorillas or not.