Can one large Yes conquer a swarm of Nos?
In this allegory on positive thinking, a large orange creature called the Yes embarks on an arduous journey, only to be trailed by dark, nebulous creatures called Nos who attempt to hold him back by undermining his self-confidence at every turn. Playful, poetic text, full of onomatopoeia, describes the action—“The Nos were everywhere and everywhat in swarms and flocks and packs. They teemed and seethed. They picked and nipped and snipped and snicked.” Kitamura’s inventive ink-and-watercolor landscapes bring the abstract story to life by showing the wandering creature as he leaves the safety of his nest to traipse through a quiet desert, a golden field and a dark jungle. He finds a tall tree, struggles over a tricky bridge and hikes a rolling hill—followed by a cloud of Nos all the while. If the text is a trifle heavy-handed and somewhat fraught with meaning, it is also well-intentioned and accessible, and the metaphor is clear and easy to understand. A nice choice for counselors and others working with children to build social-emotional skills.
Comforting and full of encouragement, this may be just the selection for adults or children struggling with fear and self-doubt. (Picture book. 4-8)