“A barn can have a horse in it.” That line, considered but rejected as the opening of Charlotte’s Web, inspired this appealing picture book that gently muses on what can be found in what. The small protagonist ponders the potential contents of various containers—a tree, a sock, a window—while enjoying life on the farm with Dad, Grandma, and the puppy.
Author Kathy Stinson has written many books for young people, including Red is Best. The simple text of A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It has a comforting repetitive structure, but occasionally diverges from the pattern to add an element of surprise: “Can a pond have a splash in it? Oh, yes! Oh, no!” The rural setting evokes simple pleasures—such as hanging out the laundry with Dad—and the story is satisfyingly circular.
Deirdre Betteridge has honed her artistic skills through work in graphic design and as an art director. Her soft and sweet illustrations tell a story of their own. For example, on the first page the little girl carefully picks flowers which, the observant reader will notice, she later presents to Grandma. And when the text asks, “Can a blanket have a wiggle in it?” the picture shows that a new baby has just been brought home; turning the page confirms this. One memorable illustration offers a bird’s eye view as Grandma, sitting on a swing, gets a helpful push from granddaughter, while a delivery truck (yes, another container) appears over a distant hill.
A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It will captivate youngsters aged from about two to five, and so the conclusion is clear: your shelves should have this book on it!