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

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

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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. 😀

  1. Lady Fancifull says:

    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

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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!

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    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 says:

      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!

  3. Barbara says:

    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!

  4. Kate Johnston says:

    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.

  5. Sue Heavenrich says:

    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…

  6. susanissima says:

    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!

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