Brighton Make-Believe by Michael Salita is a charming children’s book about using your imagination. Really, there cannot be enough books stressing kids to use make believe. In the neighborhood of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, three six-year-old boys are sick of playing sports all the time and want something else to do. They start making up stories about different animals in the neighborhood – dogs that run along rooftops and birds that live underground – and they travel around the neighborhood making up more and more outlandish stories about the neighborhood animals.
The main trouble with Brighton Make-Believe is it calls out for illustrations, and there are none. Though the book has a nice illustration on the cover, there are no illustrations inside, which is an odd choice for a children’s book aimed at six-year-olds. Additionally, though the book is written in the cadence of rhyme, many of the words do not rhyme, such as “basement” and “street.”
There’s a fun book here, but it truly needs illustrations to be a full-fledged work for children. One could argue that the purpose of the book is for children to use their imaginations, but this concept might not entirely work for that age level. If it were properly illustrated, there’s a lot to recommend this book, but until then, the book seems incomplete.