If Apples Had Teeth — Written by Shirley Glaser and Illustrated by Milton Glaser — From Enchanted Lion Books

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"You will want this book. It might change the way you look at the world. Some of the IFs are practical: 'If apples had teeth, they would bite back.' 'If a kangaroo was fond of you, he could carry your books home from school.' Some of the IFs rhyme or have alliteration: 'If a rhinoceros wore a sweater, he would look a lot better.' 'If horses had hat racks, they would be reindeer.' But some of the IFs make you drop your chin: 'If eggs were made of glass, you could count your chickens before they hatched.' 'If trees were pink, they would be nevergreens.' Did I mention the art? Very whimsical and fun!"

— Mary Lee Hahn, A Year of Reading

"Republished for the first time since its original debut more than half a century ago, IF Apples Had Teeth is part poetry, part art, part jubilant nonsense, radiating a simple, playful, yet profound question: Why must things be the way they are, and what if they were otherwise?"

— Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

For Ages 5-8

A book about language, play, and the relationship between words and images, IF Apples Had Teeth is graphic, smart, silly, and surreal all at the same time.

Language and thought come to life as counterfactuals and possibilities are conjured and proposed. The heart of the book beats with newness, reminding us that art, poetry, and story are all about creating something that doesn't yet exist in the world.

This is a reprint of a title originally published by Knopf in 1960. The words and illustrations are delightfully wide-eyed, deranged, and possibly subversive.

Apples bite back. The soup talks back! Alligators masquerade as luggage. (Watch out!) Each page posits ‘what if,’ and offers a delightfully absurd response.

Some pages rhyme. Some don’t. But there’s a zippy rhythm to the text that makes for good reading aloud.

Five to eight-year-olds who like to laugh will love this one. Young wordsmiths and artists will be eager to create their own ‘what ifs’ and draw them. It’s a book that makes the reader feel energized and want to participate! 


Format: New Hardcover with jacket, Picture book

Published: July 17, 2017

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

ISBN: 9781592702268 

Pages: 40

Dimensions: 6.88" inches W x 8.63" inches H 

Weight: 0.5 pounds before shipping

Rating: ★★★★1/2


Milton Glaser (b.1929) is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States (he created the iconic I❤︎NY logo and many more).

He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. Glaser was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (2004) and the Fulbright Association (2011), and in 2009, he was the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award.

He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce a prolific amount of work in many fields of design to this day.

Shirley Girton Glaser studied art and photography at Cooper Union. After graduating in 1956, she married Milton, and spent two years living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe.

Enchanted Lion Books


IF Apples Had Teeth was published by Enchanted Lion Books. We love them, and they can share their vision, mission, raison d'être in a much more articulate way, as I usually as reduced to "Ooooh!" and "Wow!"

"Enchanted Lion Books is an independent, family-owned publishing company based in Brooklyn, NY. We opened our doors and published our first list in spring, 2003. We love books, well-told stories, and illustrations that open up the visual world and deepen a child's sense of story.

We publish illustrated books from around the world, convinced by the power of cultural exchange to inspire curiosity, awareness, and wonder in children everywhere. We reach across time and oceans to find new authors and old treasures to share with a new generation of readers.

We select the books that we publish with great care. We seek out those that we believe children will enjoy and that reflect an individual voice or vision.

We live with the books we publish long before they go to press, and we share them within our communities. We also sleep with many books under our pillows, and we publish the ones that invade our dreams.

We believe in the books we publish because they are beautiful and lively, thoughtful and full of feeling. They evince a fierce belief in the imagination, exploring the inner world as richly as the world around us.

Our books explore the feelings and imaginative lives of various animal and human characters, but they also travel out into into northwest Pakistan, China during the Cultural Revolution and the Levantine world during the golden age of Arab science.

We have published books from authors and illustrators in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland and the US.

Books allow us to explore worlds long before we travel and long after. We therefore seek to give children books that will help them feel that this world we share, with all its surprising, wonderful complexity and beauty, is home

As we all know, books help children to cross all kinds of boundaries and borders long before they begin to grasp the world through actual travel and experience.

We thus take as our task that of connecting young readers to the wonderfully diverse modes of expression that exist in the world, so that in the end they will feel that the whole world—with all of its wonderful, surprising and very real similarities and differences—is their home."