Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead

Ideas Are All Around by Philip C Stead

Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead (InfoSoup)

Stead captures a day in search of a story to write. He takes a walk with his dog named Wednesday since it’s a sunny day. They greet Frank, a turtle who lives near the bridge. They wave to Barbara a neighbor who owns the home where the author used to live and where he dropped blue paint in the shape of a horse. Ducks float by. Trains rush past. They walk through town and listen to the birds and watch the blue sky. Wednesday chases a squirrel back to Barbara’s house where they have coffee together. And soon a story has been found.

This is a treasure of a picture book. It offers a glimpse into the writing process, into the importance of getting outside and taking a walk. It shows how little things turn into stories and become big ideas. It also shows the author as a product of his personal landscape, whether that is filled with a story based firmly in reality like this one or one that is more fantastical or whimsical.

Stead’s illustrations are a rich mix of media. There are photographs of Wednesday combined with collage, painting and printed words. Some of the paintings have gorgeous textures that remind me of stencils or the roughness of stamping. The entire book sings with invention and inspiration.

A perfect leaping off point for young writers, this book shows that not only can any idea become a story but ideas can become great picture books too. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from library copy.



2016 Lambda Literary Award Finalists

Lambda Literary Logo

The finalists for the 2016 Lambda Literary Awards were announced in March. Here are the finalists for the LGBT Children’s/Young Adult category.

About a Girl (Metamorphoses, #3) Anything Could Happen

About a Girl by Sarah McCarry

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

25246418 George

Gay and Lesbian History of Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights by Jerome Pohlen

George by Alex Gino

The Marvels More Happy Than Not

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

None of the Above Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

None of the Above by IW Gregorio

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli