Yesterday, I was wowed by a new picture book that we got in called What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom. I don’t usually make Caldecott predictions, but this book may be a serious contender. Not only did I love the text, but the illustrations are absolutely essential to the book, and give it many more layers.
The book is narrated by a boy who has an idea and we follow him through his excitement with it to his fear of what other people will think of it to its release into the world. The idea is pictured as an egg, and grows steadily throughout the book. Color surrounds the egg, and foliage connects the boy and the egg on page after page. Pay attention to the clock and the birds in the book. Several of us read the book in my office, and each person had their own interpretation of what these things symbolized—which is the best indicator of great art.
This is a book that has sparked discussions, and made me think about it long after I put it down. The book will inspire children to have faith in their ideas and have the courage to put the work and time into their ideas so that they become realities. Adults who read it to them may very well be inspired, too. I can totally see this becoming an adult gift book to encourage big thinkers.