Written and Illustrated by Brianne Farley
Candlewick Press, 2013
Ike wanted to write a story. An incredible story.
The plot in a nutshell: A boy creates ink for his new story
Ike is excited to write a story of his own, but he doesn’t know what to write about. He procrastinates a bit by searching for his pen, talking to his friend and doing some cleaning. Then he realizes that his special story requires special ink. He gathers up things that are similar to ink, including a shadow and booga-bird feathers. He needs something from the dark side of the moon, so he builds a rocket to take him there. He mixes and mashes all his ingredients and produces a bottle of ink. Then he starts to write his story.
In her first picture book, author/illustrator Brianne Farley explores the creative process with a main character who is essentially an ink blot with arms, legs and a head. Ike’s ink blot body seems to be more ordered when he is calm and more chaotic when he is stressed or excited. I got the idea that the notion of creating special ink may have begun as another way to procrastinate but it becomes the basis for his story. I think this is a cool twist. (Although I think that mixing the ink in a blender was ill-advised, especially when he left the top off!) The book’s artwork was created with ink (of course) and digital collage. There is a minimal use of color throughout the book, which makes it pop more when it does appear. A fun read that encourages imagination and creativity.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that everything you create is made up of all of your experiences.