I know a lot of people who find it very hard to 'jump' into the unknown, to do something unconventional. It is scary to do, of course it is, but the rewards can be priceless. Today's picture book is about a boy who discovers that thinking out of the box and taking a risk can be truly wonderful.
Peter and Paul Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Reynolds
For ages 5 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2014, 978-1-4424-6608-1
Rafael has been waiting all year to have the opportunity to participate in the Going Places go-cart competition. He raises his hand so fast in class that his teacher gives him the first go-kart kit. The kit includes precise instructions, which Rafael really appreciates because he is good at following directions.
With care, and following the directions exactly, Rafael builds his go-cart, and when it is complete it looks exactly like the one shown in the directions. Feeling pleased with himself and his go-cart, Rafael decides to see what Maya is doing. She hasn’t even started working on her go-cart because she is so busy drawing a picture of a bird.
The next morning Rafael goes to visit Maya again to see how her go-cart construction is progressing, and he sees that she has built a flying machine. Of sorts. Rafael tells his friend that her creation is “cool,” but it isn’t really a go-cart. Maya challenges Rafael by saying, “Who said it HAD to be a go-cart?” At first Rafael isn’t quite sure how to respond to these words, but after some thought he realizes that Maya is right. No said that one had to use the kit to create a go-cart.
There is nothing wrong with following directions. Nothing at all. However, when you dare to venture away from the instructions and to think outside the, box interesting things can happen. This is what happens to Rafael and Maya, who, by working together, discover that the sky is the limit when it comes to coming up with fresh, creative, and innovative ideas.
This wonderful book will help young children to discover (and older readers to remember) that thinking outside the box can lead to grand shared adventures in creativity.