A new sprout questions the meaning of life.
Sweet Pea, a sprout unfurling on a sunny day, immediately questions who she is and why she exists, expressing distress at her confusion. A bumblebee happens along and spouts philosophy at Sweet Pea, supposedly exploring the meaning of life. Akley attempts verse, but most rhymes are poor, nonexistent or rarely scan, reading instead as prose without line breaks. But the deepest problem is that the bumblebee’s monologues are unintelligible. Cryptically smashing together bits of classical philosophy, Akley produces long-winded litanies devoid of meaning. Certain snippets may be rooted in real discourse but are unfathomable. The unattractive, cereal box style illustrations have googly eyes and no depth. And after all that philosophical nonsense, the answer to Sweet Pea’s question is painfully sacrificial: The meaning of her life is to be a cut flower in a vase after she ages and dies, to be a gift for someone else.
Akley aims at complexity, but achieves incoherence. (Picture book. 5-7)