Follow your heart, and your life will increase in richness and joy.
Whether it’s taking chances, tackling a problem, experimenting with new ideas, or being brave enough to try new things, Yamada (Trying, 2020, etc.) is a master at encouraging young ones. This time he expands on these themes, presenting a platform for living the best kind of life. Finding what you love is only the first step. Readers are exhorted to take every bit of promise, creativity, and determination they have, then practice, stretch it to its limits, and turn it into achievement. Every clichéd bit of advice is included, but there is no sense of preaching or condescension, and it all somehow feels fresh and new. It speaks directly to young readers in a gentle, warm tone and offers a blueprint for choosing the better path. Santoso’s engaging little duckling, whose pale yellow beak and feet are the only bits of color in the mostly taupe and gray illustrations, acts out Yamada’s suggestions with humor and gusto. Matching action to the text with just enough exaggeration to prove the point, the duckling exudes enthusiasm; it makes every effort to create, to bravely seek adventure, and to find the joyful heart of every endeavor. Will young readers and their grown-ups find “muchness” and ways to “add more life to life?” Perhaps and perhaps not, but they will certainly find much to savor and discuss
A lovely and hopeful philosophical exercise.(Picture book. 5-10)