Kids ponder philosophy and nature.
Lying in an attic bed in the opening spread’s bottom left corner, a child wonders, “What if the sun is really a kite?” Outside the house, kites zoom up, while far across the pinkish-gray sky, an understated sun glows—with a kite string hanging from it. A multiracial cast of children, one using a wheelchair, pose questions that are their own point—no answers required. Some address nature, like dragonflies or grasshoppers. Some are playful: “Could there be a galaxy in my belly button?” asks a child who observes tiny planets and stars orbiting at waist level. Sadness is here too: “Why don’t shadows smile when you smile?” The child wondering that question is smiling, but the picture is so dark, it’s hard to discern. One tender theme involves concern for inanimate items, such as whether cereal fears spoons, whether toys mind being alone or shoes are sad to be outgrown, and whether teddy bears cry. (This teddy does shed a tear.) One spread asks, “Do windmills ever get tired?” and then “Where are all the unicorns hiding?” In the illustration, a muddy, melancholy green dominates the turbine-covered rolling hills and a minuscule pink unicorn subtly emerges. Pak’s artwork is delicate and serious, echoing shapes and colors across a spread to forge connections.
Pensive and muted: the quiet side of wondering. (Picture book. 4-8)