Today we’re doing something a bit different! I am thrilled to have the privilege to take part in Publisher Spotlight’s blog/Instagram tour celebrating What If Wilhelmina by Joseph Belisle!
Title: What If Wilhelmina
Author/Illustrator: Joseph Belisle
Publisher: Blair Publisher
Published: March 2, 2021
Format: Picture Book
What If Wilhelmina is Joseph Belisle’s debut picture book, following a young girl and all the emotions she feels when her cat Wilhelmina runs away. One morning when the young girl’s dad opens the door, Wilhelmina darts out, chasing after a squirrel. Despite the family’s attempts, no one can catch her. The daughter worries about Wilhemina and her imagination runs wild thinking of all the awful things that could happen. Luckily, as our young protagonist worries, the illustrations tell a different story.
What If Wilhelmina is a great selection to open the door to conversations about anxiety and worries. I also love that there is queer representation with two fathers, though that isn’t the primary focus of the story.
The illustrations tell the story wonderfully, but I really appreciated all the nods to various famous works of art hidden throughout. This sneaky addition creates for fun rereads, and opens up conversations about art and art history.
A portion of the proceeds for What If Wilhelmina will go to Kids In Crisis, a nonprofit in Cos Cob, Connecticut providing emergency shelter, crisis counseling, and community education programs for children and families facing crisis.
You can purchase your own copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
About The Author:
Joseph Belisle draws and paints, teaches art, is husband to David and father to Faith, and with the debut of this book becomes a children’s book author and illustrator. Belisle proudly runs Lighthouse, the LGBTQ+ teen group at Kids in Crisis. He grew up in a big family in a small New England town and currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, where it is also his job to keep up with the real-life Wilhelmina.