What Do You Do With An Idea? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

29 May

It’s been a dry month. Lots going on. Tomorrow, we’re holding a fundraiser for our school, a literary dinner featuring Lalita Tademy, author of three fabulous historical novels: Cane River, Red River, and Citizens Creek. I’ll give you a recount of the evening next week.

Now, on to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. I’d like to nominate:

What Do You Do With An Idea? 

The story starts innocently enough:

One day, I had an idea. 

“Where did it come from? Why is it here?”

I wondered, “What do you do with an idea?”

The child tries to ignore that pesky idea, thinks it seems “kind of strange and fragile.” The child goes so far as to “act like it didn’t belong to me.”

Then we get the page turn and:



But it followed me.

The child worries about what others will think, so it hides the idea away. But it keeps growing and growing, along with the child’s love for it. Until the child builds the idea a place where it is safe to dream.

The idea and the child become friends as they share secrets. The idea shows the child how to walk upside down

“Because,” it said, “it is good to have the ability to see things differently.”

The child soon becomes unable to imagine life without the beloved idea. Then one day:


the idea “spread its wings, took flight, and burst into the sky.”

The idea becomes ubiquitous. It becomes “part of everything.”

And then I realized what you do with an idea…










You change the world.


This book, similar to Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” is a worthy gift for all the young idealists, the forward-thinkers, the world-changers you know who may be graduating right now. It received a well-deserved Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal in 2013.

Title: What Do You Do With An Idea?

Author: Kobi Yamada

Illustrator: Mae Besom

Publisher: Compendium Kids

ISBN: 978-938298-07-3

Pub Date: 2013

46 Responses to “What Do You Do With An Idea? – Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. Vanessa-Jane Chapman May 29, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    I love that! What a great book, and nicely told by you 🙂

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      Originally, I wasn’t going to give away the ending, but I wanted all those parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc to know that it’s not just for the younger set. The “youngish” ones graduating from high school and college might find it inspirational, too. 😀

  2. heylookawriterfellow May 29, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    I know this book and loooove it. A Perfect Picture Book indeed!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      Of course! You’re an excellent example of someone who listens to their ideas. Just keep it away from the rodents, OK? Shouldn’t be giving them any ideas. There may be some sort of plague-ish uprising.

  3. Joanne Roberts (@BookishAmbition) May 29, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    This looks adorable for all rhe creative kids in my life. Thanks.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      Yes! I certainly took it to heart. I even had my husband read it. His company helps the dreamers with big ideas make the world a better place. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Lady Fancifull May 29, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    That’s lovely Jilanne – it can be read as simply, or as profoundly, as the reader wants to go. Once again, you’ve done a little chokes up and goes misty eyed moment on me

    I look forward to your dinner account for next week. I hope the conversation sparkles the funds get raised high and there are delicious things to eat

  5. Ste J May 29, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    The simple truths make for the best stories, I like the feel good nature and the gentle reminder for us all.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Truth, yes. I know so many people with so many ideas who are working hard to make the world a better place. The only thing the book leaves out is the tireless effort that change takes. But you’ve first got to believe in the idea and your ability to make things change. That’s what this book is about. Cheers!

  6. Carrie Rubin May 29, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful book for children and adults alike. It’s funny how an idea can start so subtly and then grow so large there’s little room for anything else in our brains. I guess those are the ones we should listen to!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

      Kind of like ideas about those books you need to write, the ones that won’t let you go. Listen, listen, listen. And keep writing. 😀

  7. Letizia May 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Oh, how charming! I especially love the first illustration when the idea is wearing a crown. May all our ideas be crowned!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

      Yes, and I love how the little idea and its crown grow larger throughout the story. At the very end, the child is shown wearing a crown, along with more little ideas lurking in the foliage. Brilliant!

  8. Keila Dawson May 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    What a wonderful book review. I can’t wait to read this picture book. BTW, I am a huge Lalita Tademy fan and have read all of her books!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      She’s amazing, isn’t she? I’m very excited about tomorrow night (and a little bit nervous since I’m preparing food) . If the three types of stuffed mushrooms turn out well, I’ll be fine. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Keila Dawson May 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    Reblogged this on Keila V. Dawson and commented:
    When you have an idea and aren’t quit sure what to do with it…

  10. Andrea May 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Interesting! I like the concept!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 30, 2015 at 12:44 am #

      Yes, it’s one of those universal “big concepts” that will appeal to many. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. FictionFan May 29, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    Love the illustrations and the message has inspired me! Now all I need is to have an idea… ❓

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      I’ve always thought of you as someone with plenty of ideas. I think that question mark should be a light bulb. 😀

  12. Barbara May 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Your review reminded me how much I LOVE, love, LoVe this one. In fact, it gave me an idea … for a visual display in Leadership Central next year … thanks!

  13. Patricia Tilton May 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    Thanks for introducing me to the book. What a gem. Must read it.

  14. cricketmuse May 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    One of those perfect books where I state “what a great idea–wish I’d thought of it.”

  15. Barbara May 30, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    This is definitely on my list of books I must get! Thank you for sharing it.

  16. ManjuBeth May 30, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    I like the way you reviewed this PB. Great concept! Kids like to ask where ideas come from.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 31, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

      Yes, they do. And this book helps them see just how important ideas are. It also helps them trust their ideas and let them grow.

  17. Catherine Johnson June 1, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    Ooh I love the sound of this. Magical!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 1, 2015 at 10:25 am #

      It does seem magical when an idea shows up unbidden, doesn’t it? Just like when this book showed up in my stack from the library. 😀

  18. ThisKidReviewsBooks June 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    Y’know, something makes me think I should read this. 🙂

  19. Kate Johnston June 3, 2015 at 5:38 am #

    I love the premise of this book! I must get it. I think this could be really great to use in any kind of classroom, just to reassure kids that all ideas are worthy.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 3, 2015 at 10:14 am #

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Use it in the classroom. I think they will LOVE it—and learn how to nourish their ideas even when others may think them unworthy.

  20. Sue Heavenrich June 10, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    what a neat book. Definitely important to know how to care for and feed an idea. Otherwise they wither and then you go looking for them (I know I left an idea around here someplace) but by then they are too weak to stand on their own legs…

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 10, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Yes, and then you have to cart those withered ideas out of the house with a wheel barrow and toss them onto the compost pile. 😀

  21. Laurel Leigh June 10, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    You are my connection to the picture book world, my friend. If we all read more kids’ books, we’d be happier people.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 11, 2015 at 11:17 am #

      I think that’s why I fell in love with them. The humor, the hope, the fresh look at the world.

  22. susanissima June 16, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    I’m so loving your reviews, Jilanne! This book, I believe, might dazzle my precocious little r who said to me after stepping out of his wading pool yesterday, “Look, Gooma, I’m rain.” Now, that’s an idea!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 16, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

      “I’m rain.” What a poetic statement! I think your little r will love the book. I hope you can find it in AK.

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