OWTK KidLit + Comics

The Queen of Random is Still Curious

My youngest daughter is nicknamed The Mouse, but she is also the Queen of Random. Spouting bizarre bits of nonsense is her trademarked move. She is a positively absurd little girl. Last week, the Queen said to me: “I am still curious about a lot of things.” She couldn’t name a single thing, in that moment, that she was still curious about but I said that I am very happy to know she is still curious, that it is important to remain curious because the world is a wondrous place. She asked me what I am still curious about and I easily rolled off a number of things that continue to boggle my feeble mind: radio, airplanes, vinyl records. She emphatically agreed with that last one, how is there music in those grooves? And how does a needle help us hear it? I dunno, sweetie, I just don’t know. And I kinda love not knowing. I never want to not be in awe of the magic in the air, even if the magic can be explained within a couple of clicks of a Google search.

Curiosity, a gift that cannot be wrapped or returned, is a curious thing. Do we as adults instill it in those with whom we are charged with raising, or does it occur naturally thanks to happenstance? For Albert Einstein, per On A Beam Of Light, a new picture book by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky, the answer is murky. There is clearly an innate sense of wonder and imagination in young Albert. At a young age, that which was lying in wait inside him was paired with a physical gift, a small present, that spurred on his famously rabid curiosity.  And it is that curiosity, of course, that eventually lead to many a great invention.

On A Beam Of Light pairs rough, sketch-style artwork with randomly scribbled text to creatively zoom through the life of the great thinker and inventor. The book is a delight for the senses, and for curious types, is a hardback example of the joys of having a vivid imagination and of remaining in awe of the world.

For Albert many years ago it was a compass, but in 2013 this elegant new picture book might just be that physical gift to spur on the next generation of wonderers who, like my Mouse, are still curious about a lot of things.

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