Create, Experiment, and Discover with Wordless Picture Book ‘Here Comes Ingo’
The Children’s Book Review | May 15, 2019
Children thrive when they create, experiment and discover things they enjoy. Wordless picture book Here Comes Ingo is a special visual story for mindful parents and inventive young readers to bond over open ended creative experiences by adding to the story via writing, painting, drawing, coloring and collaging ON the page thus encouraging children to appreciate and include process art in their daily lives in order to search for and create new meaning, test their comfort zone and take risks.
This detail packed illustrated picture book presents the multi-layered tale of Ingo, a scarlet macaw who bored sitting on her eggs drifts off to sleep and dreams of flying into the lush tropical rain forest she calls home. Ingo’s dream reveals a new world of possibilities full of surreal and unexpected encounters. With every turn of the page, charming collages filled with minute details amount to surprising compositions which show kids that the inspiration they need to add to Ingo’s story and make this book their own is the willingness to tap into their own creativity and let the imagination soar.
Each page of the book is meant to serve as the starting point for a new “picture story” via process-oriented art, art that is based on exploration and allows different outcomes, rather than emulating a preconceived finished product. What if Ingo were to wear a hat? Wouldn’t it be great to have another macaw keep company to Ingo? How about spotting all the animals from the last visit at the zoo? Inviting children to participate in the story is more than a simple time-filler. It offers them an unparalleled sense of agency which in turn encourages exploration, self expression, logical thinking, imagination, and creativity – all valuable skills in their future adult lives when it would be more important to think in innovative ways than be able to follow directions. There is no better way to reinforce this than to make Here Comes Ingo as well as other wordless picture books part of a book collection that bursts with the power of visual excitement and invites young readers to experience a new kind of adventure by examining the pictures and come to their own conclusion about the story being told.
It is especially important to understand how a book can transition from a simple “story” or a timely “message” into a full blown teachable moment encouraging young readers to experience a direct sense of agency in dealing with the book content. This is how the seeds of growth mindset and playful engagement are planted organically thus enabling children to expand their cache of intellectual, emotional and cultural knowledge using age appropriate concepts. Through interpretive discussions fueled by art integration Here Comes Ingo does precisely this. Yet, when it comes to young children it is often easy to dismiss their creations as simple arts & crafts projects. To this purpose, it is important to be aware of the difference between “Arts” and “Crafts.” Crafts involve children following directions to reproduce an adult’s idea and require no original thinking. They are meant to be useful, practical or educational. Arts, on the other hand, especially process art, allows children to experiment with their own ideas and art materials with no known outcome in mind in order to help them think openly, create new meaning, be more tolerant of others’ differences and have the courage to forge their own path. Taking Here Comes Ingo as the starting point, only the simplest materials are required to foster creativity because children learn visually before they learn textually. Paint brushes, water colors and colorful glitter glue are welcome but crayons and stickers do the job as well. All children need to make this book their own is their genuine interest in developing the story based on how they view the world around them. It doesn’t hurt that many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. Moreover, interacting with these eye catching illustrations indirectly helps with language development as well. In other words, Here Comes Ingo is the type of open ended picture book that can help toddlers learn words for colors, shapes and actions by “reading” each page as well as give a hand to older children to meet National Core Art Standards (Creating, Performing/Producing/Presenting, Responding, Connecting) in the classroom or at home by discussing their own creations using descriptive words to open up about their feelings, concerns and experiences.
As with the best of books, at the conclusion of the story, the journey is not over inviting readers to visit again and again.
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Read our exclusive interview Odeta Xheka Discusses Here Comes Ingo.
Illustrated by Odeta Xheka
Publisher’s Synopsis: Here Comes Ingo, a Mom’s Choice Awards Recipient is a great example of the benefits of art in early childhood development. This unique picture book encourages children to switch seats with the illustrator via painting, coloring and drawing directly ON the page in order to tap into their creativity and let the imagination soar. As with the best of books, at the conclusion of the story, the journey is not over. Ingo invites children to visit again and again in order to expand on Ingo’s dream world following into the tradition of classic books such as Good Night, Gorilla, The Adventures of Polo, Tuesday, Where’s Walrus, Sea of Dreams and The Red Book.
Ages 3+ | Publisher: Outskirts Press | January 12, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1977207180
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