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What Do You Do With an Idea? Hardcover – February 1, 2014
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Once in a while, a picture book comes along and challenges every reader to recalibrate their expectations on what a picture book can deliver and accomplish. The books in this category contain creativity, mindfulness, complexity, masterful illustrations, and arresting inspiration. What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom, is one such picture book. What Do You Do With An Idea? is about a boy who has an idea, illustrated as a golden crowned egg with legs. The boy wonders about the peculiar golden biped ; its origins, its purpose, its place in the world. The boy was uncomfortable, he was unsure what to do with the idea and so he tried to deny its existence. But the idea was persistent and would not leave, in fact it seemed to be growing and eventually, the boy got used to having this idea around. As the boy becomes more comfortable with the idea, he tentatively starts sharing it with others. Many laughed at the peculiar looking idea, as the boy suspected they would, but the boy perseveres. Becoming more confident, the boy decides to ignore his detractors and nurture and love the idea, to the point where he can’t imagine life without it. The boy discovers his idea gives him the feeling of being alive and also perspective on seeing life differently. With the boy’s attention and dedication, the idea beautifully changes the world and permanently becomes part of everything around him. Mae Besom’s delicate illustrations in What Do You Do With An Idea? are a perfect accompaniment to Kobi Yamada’s beautiful narrative and message. As the story begins and the idea is introduced, the pages are expertly illustrated in pencil, with striking depth and light. There is little use of color in the beginning but as the boy begins to warm to the idea, more color is introduced. Still, it’s clear as the narrative suggests, that the boy has not completely embraced his idea. Finally, when the boy accepts the idea, the world changes and color is everywhere and alive on the pages. The color progression is a brilliant way to portray the ascension of the idea’s importance in the boy’s life. The message in What Do You Do With An Idea? is clear–welcome and nurture ideas with patience and persistence, no matter how big or small, no matter how unique or popular, and they may grow to change the world. It’s a message that’s been shared before by teachers, business leaders, parents and mentors. What makes this message so unique is the simple but beautiful way it’s delivered, in narrative and illustration, through the eyes and voice of an innocent and hopeful child. What Do You Do With An Idea? is a spectacular book for all ages and is a wonderful treasure for any home or school library.
About the Author
Kobi Yamada is the creator of many inspiring gift books and ideas as well as the president of Compendium, a company of amazing people doing amazing things. He happily lives with the love of his life and their two super fun kids in the land of flying salmon where he gets to believe in his ideas all day long. He thinks he just might be the luckiest person on the planet.
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If the reader peeks carefully at the little idea, one can see it begin to grow. It begins its life looking like an egg, a perfect metaphor as we wait for the idea to hatch, or break out of its confining shell. The boy's egg is a yellow-gold color that makes one think of the sun or of light...just as light illuminates, so can a nurtured idea. The discriminating reader (often an observant child!) may notice that midway into the story, the idea egg appears to be sporting a little crack, which continues to spread. Does this suggest that his idea is cracking or breaking? Oh no, reader...this little idea is about to sprout wings, burst from its shell, and take wing to change the world!
Lovely sepia colored illustrations provide a perfect backdrop for the little golden idea as it grows. This book is gorgeous on all levels -- visually, emotionally, and creatively. A perfect gift for any child, or for any adult who enjoys a reminder once in a while (like me!) about the best aspects of our humanity.
It's about a little child and his anthropomorphized idea. It shares all the struggles we have with our ideas, the pain of rejection and the joy we feel when we immerse ourselves in bringing our ideas to life. What do you do with an idea? Well that would be a spoiler, but suffice it to say, it's what I have been saying all along. I loved this book. Author Kobi Yamada did a great job of bringing this concept to its essence so that anyone can understand it and illustrator Mae Besom captures the spirit of this book fantastically.
Lastly I love that this book was written for children, but the truth is children don't need it. Children already dream and create. The real and lasting impact of this book will be fond in two ways. First that the children will hold onto it when the world begins to tell them they are too old to dream, and second that people reading this book to their children,grandchildren etc. will grasp the concept and begin to feed their ideas again.
I have so much more to say, but by now my review is probably longer than the book so I will end with three words, read this book!
Really, sincerely wish I'd had this a kid. Life-changing.