When a young child starts finding the smallest form of an idea, it slowly grows until it is a giant bloom of creativity and wonder. Most of their family and friends support them, but there is that one bully that tells the child, “That is not how an idea is supposed to look.” And this, of course, starts doubt. Yet, they realize, since they and the others who added to the idea, and had their own, each looked different, and combining them made each even better, that and idea can look any way you think it. The bully, of course, will also learn this lesson.
Hold That Thought is a story of creativity and being true to what you feel, think, and want. Bree Galbraith’s story is not new but is a good addition to the collection of individuality and being yourself stories. And Lynn Scurfield’s illustrations show how fanciful and magical the idea (and later ideas) is.
There are two factors that help make this book new or fresh to the reader. The first is a simple word choice. We never learn if the child of the store is gendered, they are always they. However, there is one small clue that might mean they are male, as they share a room with a brother, but either way, this allows it to be accessible to anyone. And this book is for most ages. It is not traditional “action” but is accessible to most listeners/readers.
And the second, of course, are the illustrations, with its flowery, flowing and filled with colors out the whazoo images. The cover shows the simpleness of things, but it is far from simplistic. The art is open and airy, allowing to connect with the thought of the idea coming to life; to become what it is to become with the freedom of the page. Of course, when the bully has his idea, it is dark and basically a rock. It is confined on the page.