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Traveling on the Wings Of One’s Imagination in Kate Westerlund’s “If You Wish” illuminated by Robert Ingpen


Myra here.

I am a huge fan of Robert Ingpen’s art. Anything that he does, I find to be magical, including this one.


If You Wish

Written by: Kate Westerlund Illustrated by: Robert Ingpen
Published by: Minedition, 2009 ISBN: 9888240803 (ISBN13: 9789888240807) 
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

One of the things I dislike hearing from young people is that they are bored. I find that it is a crime to be bored when there are so many books waiting to be read, so many places yet to visit, a world of possibilities waiting to be uncovered. The young girl in this story named Willow is bored – she has read ALL her books, and there is nothing left for her to do, until she heard a voice in her head, saying:


“There’s always another story. When you read a book again and let your imagination take over, it can take you to new stories, so it’s like a book inside the book!”

This voice in Willow’s mind took her someplace strange and deep in the thicket of the forest until they saw this carousel that allowed Willow to take flight:


I find that this is a good reminder on how our imagination allows us to travel to various places: the sky is the limit, as the trite adage says – one can even go beyond the skies if you wish – parallel universes, too!


I feel that the star in this story is Ingpen’s luminous art. While I did enjoy the story, the gorgeous art simply took my breath away. And of course, there has to be dragons. That’s exactly where my imagination would take me, I am after all a Dragon baby.


Let your imagination take flight and bring you places!

Pair this book with Robert Ingpen’s The Dream Keeper – another gorgeous book that celebrates flights of fancies.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

1 comment on “Traveling on the Wings Of One’s Imagination in Kate Westerlund’s “If You Wish” illuminated by Robert Ingpen

  1. Those are fabulous illustrations!


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