“Young philosophers, budding scientists, and curious youngsters everywhere — rejoice! Mac Barnett’s perfect bedtime story is full of questions and answers worth contemplating. With endpapers that suggest a world of possibilities and the magical pairing of Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrations with Barnett’s text, Just Because is destined to be requested each evening as often as the obligatory glass of water. It is a joyful celebration of imagination and the world of dreams — just be sure to close your eyes.”
— Mary Alice Garber, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Curious minds are rewarded with curious answers in a fantastical bedtime book by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault.
Why is the ocean blue? What is the rain? What happened to the dinosaurs? It might be time for bed, but one child is too full of questions about the world to go to sleep just yet. Little ones and their parents will be charmed and delighted as a patient father offers up increasingly creative responses to his child’s nighttime wonderings. Any child who has ever asked “Why?” — and any parent who has attempted an explanation — will recognize themselves in this sweet storybook for dreamers who are looking for answers beyond “Just because.”
About the Author
Mac Barnett is the author of several books for children, including Caldecott Honor Books Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, both illustrated by Jon Klassen; President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen; Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson; and the Terrible Two series, cowritten with Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Mac Barnett lives in California.
Isabelle Arsenault is the creator of Alpha and the illustrator of several other picture books, including Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year; Captain Rosalie by Timothée de Fombelle; and Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky. Isabelle Arsenault lives in Montreal.
The exacting, exquisite phrasing electrifies readers, and full-bleed illustrations pull them into an extraordinary alternate universe...Matte paper, flat colors, conventional & typesetting, and a mid-20th-century look to the light-skinned people conjure a retro feel, allowing the unexpected, original answers to stand out even more. Charming, playful, and extraordinary imaginings will galvanize young minds to find inspired answers to their own questions. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Barnett (The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown) offers a comic look at that famous childhood bedtime-delaying tactic, the difficult question...Arsenault’s imaginative power enhances a thin, nevertheless enjoyable, text. —Publishers Weekly
This is a clever launch pad for curious children and adults. The large trim size and double pages done in gouache, pencil, and watercolor, assembled digitally, are replete with details both realistic and fanciful. —Booklist