Hold That Thought!

Owlkids. Aug. 2021. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771472944.
K-Gr 3–In an indigo night, an idea “bright with hope” wakes a child joyfully, in the sky blue bedroom they share with their brother, Oscar. Finn, with tan skin and shoulder-length black hair, seven-ish, is not tied to a gender, just as the wonderful idea isn’t tied to any particulars. Depicted as a spark of light, it is any inspiring thought to hold until it develops and gets buy-in—as it quickly does, expanding and multiplying when shared with Finn’s group of friends who are of many races. Only freckled Otis resists, knocking the idea from Finn’s hand and claiming that all ideas should look like his own. Finn retrieves the “cold, still” idea, overcoming self-doubts with their friends’ help, until finally Otis changes his idea and contributes to the whole, so “there’s no telling where this one would go.” The writing is sensitive, and the messages of openness, sharing, and intellectual excitement are affirming. With figures delineated simply, the pencil-and-ink art is clear enough to share at read-alouds, but is wonderfully detailed close up, especially as the idea “takes wing” at the end: glowing colors intensify with the idea’s acceptance.
VERDICT Like Galbraith’s Usha and the Stolen Sun, text and illustrations celebrate youthful persistence and confidence despite obstacles, appealingly presented.

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