Ideas Are All Around
By Philip C. Stead
A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press
March 1, 2016
In this innovative picture book, Philip Stead takes his dog Wednesday on a walk around the neighborhood with the hope of finding an idea for a new story. In the end both Philip and the reader learn that ideas really are all around — you just have to know what to do with them when you find them.
“A carefully thought-out design, from typeface to page weight, makes the book a pleasure to look at and handle. This succeeds, as the title says, at showing that ideas are everywhere, and it will spur readers to find creative sparks of their own.” —Booklist, starred review
“The art is glorious, creatively mixing small photographs—presented as Polaroids—with ink and watercolor paintings. There is a subtle “fortunately/unfortunately” subtext in the visual and verbal narratives, and while the scenes are unified through a predominance of blue in the sky photos and painted images, the realistic/imaginary contrast supports the other dualities. VERDICT Readers may wonder if this jaunt (and resulting book) is truth or fiction. Regardless, it is a provocative, artful journey.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Stead’s bits and pieces of drawing and observation, his willingness to lay bare his uncertainty, and his rough sketches of the natural world don’t form a polished or seamless whole. Yet their very fragmentariness tells an important truth about the way artists begin to create.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review