‘It Might Be an Apple’, a Book that Questions Reality

When he gets home from school, a child finds an apple on the table. But on second thoughts, is it really this fruit?


WordsClémence Leleu

© Thames & Hudson

Written by illustrator Shinsuke Yoshitake, It Might Be an Apple, initially aimed at young readers, will also find an audience with those a little older. The book tells of far more than the wild imaginings of a young child when he discovers a bright red apple on the table on his return from school. It Might Be an Apple questions reality and representations, and hones critical thinking skills. In this graphic novel, Shinsuke Yoshitake encourages the reader to shift their gaze. It’s an apple, no doubt, but what else is it? Should appearances always be trusted? 

Born in Kanagawa in 1973, not far from the city of Yokohama, Shinsuke Yoshitake graduated from the University of Tsukuba, north-east of Tokyo, in fine arts. A sculptor and illustrator, he writes and illustrates books for children and adults alike, with tales always centred on slices of everyday life that he depicts in an original, humorous manner. 


One apple, one thousand possibilities

Is this apple really an inanimate object? The author, through the little boy, seeks to find out whether it might feel some emotions or sensations, and what its desires might be. Is this apple a fruit? Because beneath its shape and colour, which correspond fully to what has always been described to us as an apple, other things could well be hiding: a giant cherry, a fruit  that is in actual fact a jam jar, a red fish curled up, or a fruit recreated from the peel but which is actually hollow. Shinsuke Yoshitake forces the reader to look beyond the end of their nose and reinvent a myth surrounding this forbidden fruit. 

It Might Be an Apple received First Prize in the MOE Children’s Book Awards and the Sankei Children’s Books Publications Prize in Japan. 


It Might Be an Apple (2021), a book illustrated by Shinsuke Yoshitake, published by Thames & Hudson.