Written by Kobi Yamada & Illustrated by Mae Besom
So, what do you do with an idea? Kobi Yamada explores this idea through a young boy. He has an idea, a lofty, crazy idea. He decides to walk away from it and pretend that it’s not his, but there’s no use. The idea, illustrated as an egg with legs and a crown, still follows the boy. Though the boy is scared of criticism from others, he decides to become friends with it because he likes having it around. One day, he walks through the crowd and shows his idea to others. Many told him that his idea was silly and weird. The boy almost gives up, but then decides, “What do they really know? It’s MY idea.” He decides to follow through and grow the idea. Suddenly, one day, his idea “changes right before his eyes” and takes off. His idea went from “being here to being everywhere,” and he realizes that an idea can change the world.
The content of this book is inspirational, but I do find it to be a bit confusing. While I know that an idea can indeed change the world, I do not see an action component to the fruition of his idea. The entire story is very abstract, and for this reason, I would not consider this children’s literature. According to Yamada’s introduction, he is the creator of many inspiring “gift books and ideas.” Though this book is shelved in the children’s section, it would be better suited as a gift book for adults.
The illustrations, other than the fact that the “idea” is portrayed as an egg, is very good. The book starts out with mostly black and white illustrations done in pencil. The variety of texture and depth she is able to create is amazing. As the boy’s idea slowly unfolds, the illustrations slowly switch to watercolor, little by little, until his idea “takes off.” By the end of the book, we see a transition to full, “dreamy-like” watercolor.
Overall, What Do You Do With an Idea? is an encouraging and inspirational book with wonderful illustrations, but it may not be suitable for children.
By: Michelle She