Also by this author: The Big, Big Feelings Activity Book
Series: The Big, Big Series #3
Published by Beaming Books on August 29, 2023
Buy on Amazon
"There once was a kid with glittery nails
who always wore colorful socks,
and all around town, this child was known
for thinking outside of the box."
Following the bestselling The Boy with Big, Big Feelings and The Girl with Big, Big Questions comes a new story about a nonbinary kid with ideas so big and wild that grown-ups often dismiss them. What if we could be mermaids and swim to school? What if we could teach pets to talk? What if we could make the world safe and inclusive for everyone?
This innovative kid doesn't stop there, and with the help of their supportive Gram, they come up with the biggest idea yet. In a world that so often dismisses and excludes kids from decision-making, this book boldly suggests that not only should kids have a voice, but that their ideas just might be the ticket to making progress.
The question on the back cover of The Kid with Big, Big Ideas was enough to make me love this book: What if grown-ups listened to kids’ big ideas? Having worked for a long time with children as a coach and pastor, let me tell you: Adults dismiss kids way too often and in ways we would never consider dismissing other adults. This book imagines a world where we took kids and their imaginations a little more seriously.
The Kid with Big, Big Ideas is told in four-line a-b-c-b verse and begins with the wild ideas of a young child. What if our pets could talk? What if we were mermaids? But then the ideas take a more serious tone: Imagine if everyone was accepted, with curiosity and an open mind. / And if every place in the world was safe and every person you met was kind.
And the adults simply chuckle at the naivety and idealism of youth. But the questions and ideas continue: Shouldn’t children at least have a voice when it comes to issues affecting them? With the help of their grandmother, they start community conversations and gets more kids involved in speaking up about issues they care about, ending with more intergenerational conversations and community.
The story is fiction. The imaginative ideas could be real. The Kid with Big, Big Ideas tells children that their ideas matter and their voices deserve to be heard. It’s a message for adults as much as it for children.
The Kid with Big, Big Ideas also has a message of inclusion. The central character of the book is introduced as “There once was a kid with glittery nails who always wore colorful socks, / and all around town, this child was known for thinking outside of the box.” The back cover blurb states the character was intended to be “a nonbinary kid with ideas so big and wild that grown-ups often dismiss them.” One of the big ideas that the character has? That gender-stereotypes were meant to be broken and the rigidity of the social binary hinders God-given creative self-expression. Gender identity and expression is not at all spoken about in the book, but it’s there in the background, unspoken, as one of those issues on which the perspective of children might be needed.
Is The Kid with Big, Big Ideas a bit simplistic? Yeah. A bit idealistic? Sure. But that’s part of the challenge. Jaded adults need the whimsical idealism of youth to prophetically imagine a better world and that’s what this book gives us.