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4.03.2017

Spark: A Book About Thought (2107)

Written and Illustrated by Esty Raskin

Inside>Out Press

What is thought? Where does it come from? My suspicion is that it has to do with complicated biological processes involving chemicals and stimuli, but then again, I'm not sure how the garage door opener works.

Spark is a deceptive book... deceptively simple. There seems to be something far deeper beneath the surface, and some very passionate, personally-held ideas by the author, Esty Raskin, though I'm still parsing what exactly they are. At the moment, I can say with certainty that there is this little fellow named Spark. He exists inside of our heads. He speaks through us, but can also be buried beneath too much language. He makes us happy and he makes us sad. He seems to be both us and not us.

Thought is the paintbrush of our experience, she writes. Reality is presented to us via thought.

She seems to conclude that reality is made up only of our experiences of it.... Which I believe is where the age-old conundrum of If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? comes from. I wonder how Spark would respond to that? I'll have to ask him.


The character design reminds me a bit of the Mister Men series by Roger Hargreaves, all bright colors and simple line work, very clear expressions. I liked the creative use of typography... something I don't seem much of in picture books.... the text circles and spirals and heads off at 90-degree angles, it all seems very thought-out, as does her use of color. 




Spark has something to say and something to hear. Look for my upcoming conversation with the author for more insight into this creative piece!

1 comment:

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