Thoughts are air

Michael Arndt

Book - 2021

"When a trio of friends happen upon a neighborhood tree falling into decay, an idea catches hold and they learn how thoughts, words, and actions are deeply interconnected"-- Provided by publisher.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Arndt Checked In
Children's stories
Picture books
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers 2021.
Main Author
Michael Arndt (author)
Other Authors
Irena Freitas (illustrator)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--A young white girl (in an all-white world, beyond the tan skin of a teacher) transforms her thoughts into actions as she engages her community in environmental activism. With expressive lines and a motif of flowers, leaves, and other natural elements to capture the flow of ideas coming from the main character's mind, the illustrations will engage young readers. There is a disconnect between the art and the text that makes for a clunky read; this call to action is abstract, forcing the illustrations to carry the burden of storytelling alone. VERDICT While there is potential for this book to be used to engage in a classroom discussion on the nature of ideas, community engagement, and environmental stewardship, adults will have to work to help students make the connections.--John Scott, Friends Sch. of Baltimore

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Rhyming couplets give an original explanation of the path from thoughts to words to action, with the art using community gardening as an example. The artwork is light and playful, with figures--both human and animal--rendered with simple lines and varied skin tones and backgrounds in springtime colors. The protagonist is a light-skinned, blond child who stretches from bed beneath the first short verse, which starts with the book's title. A gently puffy thought balloon containing flowers and bumblebees sprouts from the child's head. Each double-page spread follows the child and that balloon through breakfast, the walk to school, and then the school day and what follows. As the child goes through these activities, the text continues with couplets that extend the metaphorical comparisons, saying that thoughts are "clouds," "dreams," "feelings," "breath," and more. The art is not particularly complementary to such notions as "beliefs, winds that inspire / When you feel low they lift you up higher" or "thoughts become words so please think your best." However, its sweetness and whimsicality match the singsong nature of the text, both of which will hold the attention of little ones. Older readers will understand the sophisticated idea underneath the simplicity, as the child's thoughts, communicated via words, lead to positive actions. "Actions are matter, thoughts that came true / Actions are words you decided to do." Text and art come full circle on the final page. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.) Both easy-reading and pleasantly thoughtful. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.