A young girl becomes upset when her older brother tells her the future is doomed. Where did he get this idea? From a pessimistic grown-up, of course. Depressed about the inevitable plagues and wars that will doom our future, the young girl consults her grandma, who imparts an important truth: “Grown-ups act like they can predict the future… but they’re not always right.”
Grandma informs her curious granddaughter that the future will be bad, but there are also good things too. However, the magic lies in knowing that “good” and “bad” are not the only ways of thinking. This wisdom opens the girl’s mind to a world of possibility and wonder. Her newfound creativity isn’t limited to futile predictions of the future, but also different things to do in the present. For instance, the cover shows a variety of children using a yellow piece of fabric in a multitude of ways: as a bandana, scarf, purse, tourniquet, belt, and more.
Shinsuke Yoshitake’s illustrations are simple line drawings with flat coloring. However, with a few simple lines, his characters express a multitude of emotion. This Japanese book reads more like a graphic novel than a typical American picture book. There are often multiple scenes on a page, yet they do not have borders dividing them.
This picture book affirms children’s creativity, but more importantly, it encourages adults to broaden their mind beyond binary thought and think twice before passing this reductive way of thinking onto their children, saving them from becoming the closed-minded adults of the future.