What If You Could?

8 November 2022

What If You Could?
by Lynne Harley, Illustrations by Kiram Akram
Review by Michelle Shaw
Published by Shadowpaw Press Premiere
$16.99 ISBN 9781989398463

What If You Could? by Lynne Harley is a wonderful book for all ages with a deep and profound message that will resonate with every reader.

The author cleverly uses the familiar story of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly to highlight the different “inner voices” we all experience. “One grey and rainy morning, a caterpillar, as caterpillars do, was eating a big, green leaf, munching, crunching, thinking, too.” One of the voices the caterpillar hears is positive and loving and encourages him to dream big, exciting dreams and to let his imagination run free. The other voice is “cold and quite mean” and full of “know-it-all advice”. This voice sternly tells the caterpillar: “forget it, little caterpillar. From this branch, you won’t go far! … HA! Who do you think you are?”

Lynne Harley has spent forty years as a social worker and a transformational life coach, so it’s not surprising that this book is so profound. Through her work she encourages individuals to believe in themselves. She says this book speaks to the power of listening deeply to our inner voice: the voice that is kind and loving and encourages us to believe in the best of who we are and live into our potential.

This book made me smile. I loved the story and the message, and the illustrations were captivating. The caterpillar and the butterfly are so beautifully drawn with each expression so skillfully rendered that they draw you into the story. Even though you know how the story is going to progress you keep reading because it’s so cleverly written and illustrated.

Each page of this soft-covered book has a full-colour illustration as well as a four-line rhyming verse.

I think children will be captivated by the story and adults will be only too happy to read it again and again and again. It’s a real feel good, inspiring read.

What If You Could? is published by Shadowpaw Press Premier, one of the imprints of Shadowpaw Press, a small Regina-based publishing company founded by award-winning science-fiction, fantasy and non-fiction author, Edward Willett.


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