The story We, the Curious Ones is a poetic look at how science was born. Well, that is how I interpret Marion Dane Bauer’s book (due early November 2023). The ways we start to look at the world changes as we gain knowledge from those who dared to question the norm. We realize things such as we are not the center of the universe, but a part of one. And other factual pieces of information we take for granted today.
Mostly the story is straightforward, not easy to read and therefore you need a nice, quiet spot to relax and enjoy it. I recommend reading it a few times before sharing with children. There are concepts that are, of course not inappropriate, but are mature. Things are in the line of Bauer’s The Stuff of Stars. Things are well done, but lofty. Sometimes they can be a bit too much. At times I felt it went a smidge long. However, I greatly appreciated and enjoyed reading this. I could give a book report about the ideas, but that partly takes away from your own experiences as you need to get to it with as fresh a slate as possible. The artwork of cut-paper by Hari & Deepti is what really made things for me. They are strong, dark, bold, colorful and strong. They are both supporters and characters of their own. They are lush and while things are not overwhelmingly detailed they can be crowded and a bit heavy. They, along with the text, are emotional and powerful.
When everything comes together, it is an experience book. No two people will read the same picture book. And while I think most people will like it, I know a few will not. And frankly, I won’t fault them for that. I know Bauer probably would, because who wants people not liking their hard work? But I understand that this is a weighty book, and it could be too poetic or flowery for some people. Also, I am not sure if it really is meant for kids. You need to know the child you are thinking about giving it to to make sure it works for their needs.