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Just Because: 03/23/21
Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator) is a picture book about a child's nightly routine of asking why before bed. The child will ask a typical question: Why is the sky blue? And the father will give a fanciful answer that Isabelle Arsenault beautifully illustrates.
On a strictly artistic front, Just Because is whimsical, avant garde, and utterly delightful. There are flying fish who are crying down tears. One of the fish has a banjo. It's the sort of artistic fun I adore.
But the text is a let down. Here's a father who is being asked how the world works by his kid. The actual answers are often just as magnificent as the made up ones.
Take for instance "What happened to the dinosaurs?" The surviving species evolved into birds! This is science that has happened within the last twenty-five years. Little kid me would have had their mind blown by this information. College aged me, did!
Just Because is a missed opportunity to mix imagination with STEM.