Aya and Papaya Learn to Imagine by MQ is a book that I was actually really excited to request. I haven’t seen many children’s books that feature an older sibling taking the time to play with their younger one and it was so much fun to see that dynamic. The story begins with young Aya who wants to play outside, but soon learns she can’t because it’s a rainy day. And instead of leaving his sister at a loss for what to do with her day, her older brother helps her imagine up some fun.
Overall, I think this book does a better job at showing sibling dynamics than it does promoting imagination, and that’s largely due to how fast paced it is. Aya is completely thrown when she realizes she has to play inside and doesn’t quite know what to do until her brother shows her all the fun she can find in a variety of make-believe games they proceed to play together. Never once does it really go into any depth with the sort of games they imagine.
The artwork is simple, but cute. It’s colorful and engaging and follows Aya’s journey with the rainy day and then with all the adventures she imagines with her brother, concluding with a family dinner. The cover is a really great depiction of what you’ll find throughout the novel.
I enjoyed Aya’s rainy day story, though I don’t think I’d go out of my way to get this book for anyone. It’s cute and while I love the sibling dynamic, the story is ultimately quite forgettable and even I had to reread it in order to write this review.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.