What Do You Do With an Idea?

Author: Kobi Yamada

Illustrator: Mae Besom

One day, a boy has an idea. His world has changed, but at first he pretends everything’s the same as always. But his idea sticks around, following him and demanding attention. It kind of grows on him after a while. And grows, and grows until one day he turns around to find that his idea has changed the world for everyone.

This book is magical! I came across What Do You Do With an Idea? randomly at a bookstore, and I’m so glad that I picked it up. The text itself is told in first person from the boy’s perspective, and it really is a great exposition on dealing with those pesky ideas that sometimes pop up at the back of your mind. Furthermore, it’s an excellent reminder to encourage and foster creativity, in others and in ourselves. This is a wonderful, captivating story to read to children, but it’s also a meaningful fable for adults–a reminder to not always stay caught in the mundane. Besom’s illustrations are wonderful: monochromatic textured pencil for most of the story with pools of color drawing the eye always to the “idea” (which is, fascinatingly, portrayed as an egg with chicken legs and a crown; I’m not sure I “get it,” but it works). I really love the use of colors and motifs to enhance the storytelling. I would highly recommend What Do You Do With an Idea? to anyone from creative children to adults who need to rekindle that creative spark–it’s truly a beautiful picture book.


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