> Skip to content

A new picture about imagination and creativity from the award-winning author of Lots and A River.

What's at the top of the ladder? Is it a hat? Is it a cat? Is it a snail on a whale?
Simple, playful and absurdist, this new picture book by Marc Martin is about imagination and creativity. Reminiscent of Press Here by Herve Tullet, Dr Seuss and I Want my Hat Back by Jon Glasson.

Reviews

Questions, questions, questions. There is one on every page. And none of them are answered. Even the endpapers are covered in question marks. What's Up Top? the front cover asks, the writing leading our eye up the ladder, its end invisible. A small green frog sits, apparently also pondering the question. The reader is given many possible answers, each more elaborate and creative than the last, but no definitive one. From 'Is it a hat?' to 'The string of a kite on a meteorite that's attached to a whale . . . while a sloth eating soup parachutes through a hoop for a group of iguanas in purple pyjamas?', the reader is taken on a journey of infinite possibility. We see the narrator at the end. He's a penguin. He can't tell us the answer: 'I don't climb up ladders . . . I'm no good with heights!' he says. This will be great as a creative writing prompt. It could also be used when introducing and discussing the use of question marks. It is, however, just a fun read aloud rhyme that holds us in suspense then lets us enter the imaginative realm ourselves. What IS up top is kind of unimportant and probably boring. As the book says 'It's probably a bird . . . or maybe just sky?'. The truth is never going to be as interesting as what we can imagine.

Nicole Nelson, Read Plus

Questions, questions, questions. There is one on every page. And none of them are answered. Even the endpapers are covered in question marks. What's Up Top? the front cover asks, the writing leading our eye up the ladder, its end invisible. A small green frog sits, apparently also pondering the question. The reader is given many possible answers, each more elaborate and creative than the last, but no definitive one. From 'Is it a hat?' to 'The string of a kite on a meteorite that's attached to a whale . . . while a sloth eating soup parachutes through a hoop for a group of iguanas in purple pyjamas?', the reader is taken on a journey of infinite possibility. We see the narrator at the end. He's a penguin. He can't tell us the answer: 'I don't climb up ladders . . . I'm no good with heights!' he says. This will be great as a creative writing prompt. It could also be used when introducing and discussing the use of question marks. It is, however, just a fun read aloud rhyme that holds us in suspense then lets us enter the imaginative realm ourselves. What IS up top is kind of unimportant and probably boring. As the book says 'It's probably a bird . . . or maybe just sky?'. The truth is never going to be as interesting as what we can imagine.

Nicole Nelson, Read Plus

This book can be used in many ways which makes it a good read for different age groups. Using it with toddlers you can talk about the different animals on the pages and get them to make noises with you. For the 3-5 year old, additional to reading to them, involving them in the story by using statements... For school aged children this book would be great read to a class to inspire their own imaginative stories.

Little Big Reads

Readers are left guessing in this simple, playful and imaginative book. It would be fun to read aloud as listeners would join in the fun and guess for themselves. Striking illustrations are accompanied by large, simple text.

Margaret Hamilton, Pinerolo

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780143783886

    August 28, 2017

    Viking

    40 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Marc Martin

Lots
Big Beautiful World
A River
Max
The Curious Explorer's Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals
A Forest

Recommendations

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK12)
Where The Wild Things Are
Undercover Princess
I Just Couldn't Wait to Meet You
Alice-Miranda At School 1
The Polar Express
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
Trash
Midnight Jewel
One Very Tired Wombat
Too Many Elephants in this House
Thirteen Reasons Why
The Witches
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Pippa's Island 2: Cub Reporters
Animalia
Now