Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Philip C. Stead
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Philip C. Stead combines mono prints, collage, and Polaroid photographs in Ideas are All Around. The narrator, a young child, takes a walk with his dog and sees all kinds of things around him in nature. He also “takes a walk” with his typewriter across the page. He isn’t sure what to write about, until he sees shapes in the clouds and his neighbor sees a horse in some accidentally spilled blue paint. After these experiences he realizes that he actually has lots of ideas, he just has to figure out what to do with them. Ideas truly are all around, if we just take the time look for them and to ponder on them.
Many children, at some point or another, feel they have run out of ideas to write about. This book would be great for a class read-aloud. It will encourage children and students of many ages to look closer at everyday things around them to find ideas to write about. This book is simple and the typewriter-like font will leave children feeling like they can find ideas around them and write their own book. Children might have fun finding the name of their own city in the book, as the narrator watches the train travel by. The illustrations make a point, but they aren't necessarily captivating. This book has a good message about children using their imaginations, but might not be a book that they will want to pick up and read over and over again.