The Little Blue Kite
We all have fears, but if we can’t face the small ones how will we face the big ones? Kai is afraid to fly a little blue kite. But Kai is also very, very brave, and overcoming this small fear will lead him on a great adventure. Remember: all great adventures start with one little moment. You know the one. It’s like a gentle breeze whispering in your ear what you already know by heart: not even the sky is the limit . . .

The Little Blue Kite Details

TitleThe Little Blue Kite
Author
ReleaseNov 5th, 2019
PublisherPantheon Books
ISBN-139781524747695
Rating
GenreFiction, Childrens, Picture Books, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels

The Little Blue Kite Review

  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    i am a monster.review to come.
  • Jesse
    January 1, 1970
    Mark Z. Danielewski (who I'll call MZD as who wants to repeatedly spell out Danielewski) is a wizard with formal invention and always a joy to read. I have enjoyed all his work immensely with The Familiar being my favorite (and maybe a defining) text (of our increasingly fractured (connected?) world). The Little Blue Kite (TLBK) however is a much more approachable work than either The Familiar or House of Leaves. Despite this approachability, TLBK contains seeds that in the fertile reader’s Mark Z. Danielewski (who I'll call MZD as who wants to repeatedly spell out Danielewski) is a wizard with formal invention and always a joy to read. I have enjoyed all his work immensely with The Familiar being my favorite (and maybe a defining) text (of our increasingly fractured (connected?) world). The Little Blue Kite (TLBK) however is a much more approachable work than either The Familiar or House of Leaves. Despite this approachability, TLBK contains seeds that in the fertile reader’s mind, may just become large oaks of truth. On first glance, it appears straight forward. But this is MZD we are talking about, close attention always rewards. Let's start with the epigraph: "The great sky is open"Simple right? Of course then we see that this is a line from the great Zen writer Mumon. Which tells you something about what you are in for. Something that can be read very simply . . . or you can ponder for the rest of your life. And I suppose I should say what the book is about. Well a young boy (Kai) has a fantastically-colored kite. That kite gets destroyed. Kai then receives a blue kite from a mysterious teacher. Of course, Kai doesn't just fly that kite right away, time must past, courage get screwed up, mettle get tested. And ultimately this is the bedrock of the story, how do we re-engage after loss, how do we measure quiet personal panic, and more importantly what larger social value can be found in showing this particular stripe of courage.Now structurally TLBK is most like a Picture Book, with airy watercolors working to not be subsumed by dark swirling clouds. But it also boasts three different ways to be read (as well as what may or may not be a time-travel subplot hidden in sartorial trickery!). Each path through the book is tiered for a different reading level. For me this is the best feature of the book; it can be read by any age - or more preferably shared amongst different ages. And throughout this experience, this engagement, we are allowed to explore what keeps us ground-bound, stuck in the Murk of the ego, and fear and division. And then, most powerfully, we can entertain the notion of finally being unstuck, flying free.
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  • Jessica Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    Talk about a book that's got something for people of all ages. A beautiful story, told in three ways. That's not counting what the art has to tell you, either.
  • Chris Via
    January 1, 1970
    Danielewski never stops pushing the boundaries of what fiction can be--that's for sure. And when I saw he went from the dishearteningly-canceled Familiar series to a children's book, my interest was as piqued as my confusion. Here are some thoughts:1. It is a moralizing children's tale that can be read by people of all ages, like Le petit Prince .2. Like House of Leaves , you will be turning the book this way and that, amused at how the form matches the content.3. As this is the same Danielewski never stops pushing the boundaries of what fiction can be--that's for sure. And when I saw he went from the dishearteningly-canceled Familiar series to a children's book, my interest was as piqued as my confusion. Here are some thoughts:1. It is a moralizing children's tale that can be read by people of all ages, like Le petit Prince .2. Like House of Leaves , you will be turning the book this way and that, amused at how the form matches the content.3. As this is the same production team that brought us the aesthetic-bending treats of his former series, you will savor the alternating fonts and colors, looking for patterns.4. The concepts of the Murk, the sky of the mind, and gentle thoughts are a neat metaphor.In the end, though, I can only say that I am left indifferent. Really, I mean, who doesn't want some thick book from this guy?
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  • Daniel Williams
    January 1, 1970
    An absolutely beautiful book that will be a fun read aloud to kids of all ages, and adults as well! There’s a lot to read in these 96 pages, and multiple ways to do so!
  • Rod Brown
    January 1, 1970
    No one has ever impressed me by hiding the name of a major collaborator until the last page. The name of artist Regina M. Gonzalez is not noted anywhere on the cover, title page or verso page. Danielewski is also credited for art, and I have to wonder if he drew the hideous figure art while Gonzalez drew everything else on the page that looked good.Also, this is classified as a graphic novel, but it is really just a picture book with ridiculous and annoying fonts.Regardless, it is pure drivel, No one has ever impressed me by hiding the name of a major collaborator until the last page. The name of artist Regina M. Gonzalez is not noted anywhere on the cover, title page or verso page. Danielewski is also credited for art, and I have to wonder if he drew the hideous figure art while Gonzalez drew everything else on the page that looked good.Also, this is classified as a graphic novel, but it is really just a picture book with ridiculous and annoying fonts.Regardless, it is pure drivel, painful to read once, much less three times as is recommended on the dust jacket. Ugh.
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  • Robert James Cross
    January 1, 1970
    Don't like children's literature but I enjoyed the light-heartedness of the grand idea. Well written.
  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book I know I'll return to again and again like comfort food. I felt the sense of wonder I experienced reading THE LITTLE PRINCE as a kid. This book is able to accomplish the seemingly impossible: it's for both kids and adults. Sort of the way that TOY STORY and other films can be experienced on different levels, this book can be read in three different ways: one for parents to read to really young kids, one for older kids and one for adults. And depending on your life and perspective, This is a book I know I'll return to again and again like comfort food. I felt the sense of wonder I experienced reading THE LITTLE PRINCE as a kid. This book is able to accomplish the seemingly impossible: it's for both kids and adults. Sort of the way that TOY STORY and other films can be experienced on different levels, this book can be read in three different ways: one for parents to read to really young kids, one for older kids and one for adults. And depending on your life and perspective, you'll probably get different things out of it on such a deep level. I felt it spoke so well to issues like anxiety, and relating to others, but there is so much in there. And the graphics are beautiful—combining painted art with photos. I can't wait to see what I discover on my next read.
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  • Miles Woodfield
    January 1, 1970
    I cant stop talking about this book. Ive been teaching special education literature for almost a decade and it has fast become one of my favorites to read both to my biological kids and my students alike. In TLBK, MZD has captured the essence of fear and the redemption that follows a long battle with it. The main character, Kai, is an accurate and humanistic portrayal of mental illness and phobia, while simultaneously not becoming preachy or pedantic. All in all, TLBK is a stellar book from an I cant stop talking about this book. Ive been teaching special education literature for almost a decade and it has fast become one of my favorites to read both to my biological kids and my students alike. In TLBK, MZD has captured the essence of fear and the redemption that follows a long battle with it. The main character, Kai, is an accurate and humanistic portrayal of mental illness and phobia, while simultaneously not becoming preachy or pedantic. All in all, TLBK is a stellar book from an accomplished writer. You'll love it too.-MW
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  • Dreebs Thornhill
    January 1, 1970
    Danielewski shows his ability to write for all ages in this soul warming tale. A story of fear, dread, and self transcended that even the little ones can appreciate. I would have appreciated this story as a young child growing up with an anxiety disorder. My adult self found joy in Kai's journey as well.
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  • Booked podcast
    January 1, 1970
    Check out our interview with Mark: https://bookedpodcast.podbean.com/e/4...
  • Nadina
    January 1, 1970
    I followed the directions on this book. I read it all three ways. First I followed the rainbow (which after flipping through it once, when I sat down and looked at it I figured out what that meant-the rainbow colored words) and what a lovely story that was. The second reading was the words rimmed in blue, red, and rainbow. A simple story that had a bit more depth but was still quite lovely. The final reading I read from beginning to end, all the words, and this did take me two sittings, but I do I followed the directions on this book. I read it all three ways. First I followed the rainbow (which after flipping through it once, when I sat down and looked at it I figured out what that meant-the rainbow colored words) and what a lovely story that was. The second reading was the words rimmed in blue, red, and rainbow. A simple story that had a bit more depth but was still quite lovely. The final reading I read from beginning to end, all the words, and this did take me two sittings, but I do wish I had read it in one sitting. I feel it may have had more impact and I could have grasped the message more. Because the fact that there is a message in the full version of the story is clear, though I am still figuring out what exactly it is. The artwork is beautiful and I want to just take the backgrounds of some of these pages and make them into giant posters, or computer wallpapers. The visuals of the whole book are stunning, but the use of colors and of the backgrounds is excellent. I also like how on certain pages the text is arranged in a non-traditional format. I honestly enjoyed all three readings of this book and I'm definitely going to be recommending this book, and quite possibly buying it.
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  • Zulfiya
    January 1, 1970
    Read it in one go, as most people did here, with the high fever and all the other unpleasantries that might have affected my perception.I really liked the inventiveness of the narrative structure. I always like how Danielewski pushes the boundaries of typography and storytelling, and this time it was not an exception. There are indeed stories within stories within stories in this book, and not in the semantic sense, but also in the physical juxtaposition sense. I did like it, and I did like the Read it in one go, as most people did here, with the high fever and all the other unpleasantries that might have affected my perception.I really liked the inventiveness of the narrative structure. I always like how Danielewski pushes the boundaries of typography and storytelling, and this time it was not an exception. There are indeed stories within stories within stories in this book, and not in the semantic sense, but also in the physical juxtaposition sense. I did like it, and I did like the colored aspect of it, but the stories per se lacked substance and were somewhat bland and oversimplistic while exploring the topic of "letting it go" I enjoyed reading it and I enjoyed decoding the formal expression, but the meaning was not there for me. Any language is a duality of form and meaning, and I guess form overcompensated for meaning in this book, but I still found it lacking something. ...
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  • Hannah Smith
    January 1, 1970
    What an incredibly sympathetic and beautiful little book! Knowing Danielewski, I knew the story would know no bounds, and I was not disappointed. The metaphysical implications are literally pouring off the pages, but in a way suitable for younger children to grasp. There is such vivid kindness and conscientiousness within the story of Kai and his little blue kite given to him by his teacher. It is truly heartwarming and mystifying. (Also, the book itself is gorgeous. Some of the most beautiful What an incredibly sympathetic and beautiful little book! Knowing Danielewski, I knew the story would know no bounds, and I was not disappointed. The metaphysical implications are literally pouring off the pages, but in a way suitable for younger children to grasp. There is such vivid kindness and conscientiousness within the story of Kai and his little blue kite given to him by his teacher. It is truly heartwarming and mystifying. (Also, the book itself is gorgeous. Some of the most beautiful illustrations I have ever seen in any book for that matter.)
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  • Ansley
    January 1, 1970
    The Little Blue Kite is a story about a boy named Kai, his kite, and The Murk. Maybe. Or Maybe its story about fear, about control. Maybe it’s a story about letting go. Or holding on. Maybe all of those things are the same. The fact that this is a book intended for a younger audience doesn’t mean it’s for a dumber audience. Like all Danelewski’s works; what you take away depends entirely on what you bring in. A good connective material to weave between adults and children, a way to broach topics The Little Blue Kite is a story about a boy named Kai, his kite, and The Murk. Maybe. Or Maybe its story about fear, about control. Maybe it’s a story about letting go. Or holding on. Maybe all of those things are the same. The fact that this is a book intended for a younger audience doesn’t mean it’s for a dumber audience. Like all Danelewski’s works; what you take away depends entirely on what you bring in. A good connective material to weave between adults and children, a way to broach topics that may otherwise seem daunting or inaccessible. TLBK is itself a kite string to hold and guide (and perhaps be guided) through clear skies-- and murk.
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  • Billy
    January 1, 1970
    Mark Z Danielewski free gain does not disappoint. Reading the three stories in order from shortest to longest is watching a flower slowly unfold in your hands. This is a children's book, but that doesn't mean it's only meant for children.and it is definitely fit for fans of the rest of his books, particularly HoL in how, at least for me, The Little Blue Kite is almost a children's parallel to HoL. As a 26 year old adult, I will be coming back to this book regularly when I need it's message in my Mark Z Danielewski free gain does not disappoint. Reading the three stories in order from shortest to longest is watching a flower slowly unfold in your hands. This is a children's book, but that doesn't mean it's only meant for children.and it is definitely fit for fans of the rest of his books, particularly HoL in how, at least for me, The Little Blue Kite is almost a children's parallel to HoL. As a 26 year old adult, I will be coming back to this book regularly when I need it's message in my life.
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  • Robb
    January 1, 1970
    Check out my podcast review: https://bookedpodcast.podbean.com/e/4...
  • Bonnie Grover
    January 1, 1970
    “There is a way to do good on behalf of others.” Courage! “Cultivate gentle thoughts and calm the sky of your mind.” Good depends on granting others place and that requires courage. What a wonderful poetic journey. A deep picture book that leaves me with many thoughts to ponder.
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  • Logan Albright
    January 1, 1970
    Moralistic and gimmicky. While classic children's literature of the past hides universal truths within compelling stories (Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, The Hobbit, etc.), modern authors prefer to just dictate to children what they ought to believe and call it a day. This would be the equivalent of J.M. Barrie writing "Growing up is hard, but it's a natural part of life and you should embrace it.", slapping a few illustrations on it to pad it out to fifty pages, and calling it a book. On top of that, Moralistic and gimmicky. While classic children's literature of the past hides universal truths within compelling stories (Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, The Hobbit, etc.), modern authors prefer to just dictate to children what they ought to believe and call it a day. This would be the equivalent of J.M. Barrie writing "Growing up is hard, but it's a natural part of life and you should embrace it.", slapping a few illustrations on it to pad it out to fifty pages, and calling it a book. On top of that, the message is confused and unfocused (let go of fear, give other people space to exist, use your imagination, or something).The gimmick of the book is that it can be read three ways depending on which color font you skip. While this could have been interesting, none of the three resulting stories is compelling or substantively different. I can't imagine any child treasuring this book and wanting to return to it a second or third time.Two stars because the illustration is competent.
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  • Olivia Fishwick
    January 1, 1970
    In the wake of intimate explorations with my own life trauma, MZD comes along with a book that asks me to engage with an intimate exploration of a more generalised trauma. This is a difficult subject to present in a children's book, and furthermore a difficult subject to present in a book that is not only a children's book but also a book for older readers simultaneously. In his usual experimental fashion, MZD separates each section of the book using colour-coding, in this case producing three In the wake of intimate explorations with my own life trauma, MZD comes along with a book that asks me to engage with an intimate exploration of a more generalised trauma. This is a difficult subject to present in a children's book, and furthermore a difficult subject to present in a book that is not only a children's book but also a book for older readers simultaneously. In his usual experimental fashion, MZD separates each section of the book using colour-coding, in this case producing three unique stories depending on which colour you follow. As is to be expected, MZD has once again produced a lovely work that is as much about exploration as it is about reading.
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  • Nick Burns
    January 1, 1970
    Going to need to process this one before I can rate it. So ambitious, yet simple. Still feels like I’m unwinding the string.
  • Noah
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, Poetic, Uplifting, Moving, and Profound.I’m a bit shaken by this beautiful and simple story. Mark Z Danielewski has done it again.
  • Tristan
    January 1, 1970
    A few points as to how I know this book was made with me in mind (spoilers and one F-bomb ahead):* It was published last month while I was in Barcelona. Chatting up with my lit teacher about The Shadow of the Wind and the book it put me in mind was House of Leaves.* It was published a bit before I turned 24.* I had a character I've written about whose name is Kai.* A lot of the things that Kai deals with in the book are similar to things I've been going through within my own life. Learning to A few points as to how I know this book was made with me in mind (spoilers and one F-bomb ahead):* It was published last month while I was in Barcelona. Chatting up with my lit teacher about The Shadow of the Wind and the book it put me in mind was House of Leaves.* It was published a bit before I turned 24.* I had a character I've written about whose name is Kai.* A lot of the things that Kai deals with in the book are similar to things I've been going through within my own life. Learning to deal with anxiety, fear of failure, putting aside my passion to work a real job, pushing away family and friends by becoming stuck in my own head.* It also draws a lot of parallels to how I've described my thought process: as twisted as knots from a tree.* The point that it calls back to House of Leaves made my whole body shake (though admittedly a bit fanservice-y)* Comes to a lot of the same conclusions I've come for myself. Letting go of control and meaning, instead choosing to live for myself and love those around me.* The fact that House of Leaves was the book that got me back into reading (thanks Evelyn!). A mindfuck of a book that twists and turns like big bulging knots. Where as this book is a more straight forward book, as light as birds and as bright as air. But a book with importance nonetheless. And how those aspects reflect my own form of thinking. Maybe this children's book speaks to me because I, too, am a child at heart.* The illustrations are pretty amazing.
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  • Nick Binge
    January 1, 1970
    I love Danielewski. He is one of the most thoughtful, inventive and intelligent authors I have ever come across. House of Leaves is my favourite book.When I heard he was writing a children's book (if any of his books can really be categorised by any kind of genre), I knew I had to buy it. The Little Blue Kite is nowhere near as complicated as anything else he's ever written. Sure, it's got that trademark Danielewski stuff going on with the typography and the narrative: the book can be read in 3 I love Danielewski. He is one of the most thoughtful, inventive and intelligent authors I have ever come across. House of Leaves is my favourite book.When I heard he was writing a children's book (if any of his books can really be categorised by any kind of genre), I knew I had to buy it. The Little Blue Kite is nowhere near as complicated as anything else he's ever written. Sure, it's got that trademark Danielewski stuff going on with the typography and the narrative: the book can be read in 3 different ways, the prose and the typesetting work in a nuanced tandem, there's even a cheeky reference to 'House of Leaves'. But it's an easy read, which his other books are not. That isn't to say that it's any less beautiful. I've read it four times now, the first three in the different suggested ways by the author, and the fourth just for fun. Each time I've got something different. For a simple book about a boy giving up, or embracing, his fears, it has a lot to say about us all : about adulthood, about expectation, about joy and about love. For a book with an apparently clear moral, there are so many ambiguities and many possible interpretations. This is a book that explores one of the most core questions of what it is to be human - what does it mean to find joy? And what does it mean to be scared of it? Keep writing, Mr. Danielewski. You're so very good at it.
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  • Jeff Bassin
    January 1, 1970
    This is the perfect meeting between your favorite obtuse and intimidating author and accessible mainstream children's book. I actually read the book by myself, a self proclaimed take on "meditation" and was able to derive quite a few ways of interpreting the contents of the story. I then took the book into a Kindergarten classroom to test the "real audience". The Rainbow Path provided a interactive method by allowing the kids to find the words as I run through every single page, light and dark, This is the perfect meeting between your favorite obtuse and intimidating author and accessible mainstream children's book. I actually read the book by myself, a self proclaimed take on "meditation" and was able to derive quite a few ways of interpreting the contents of the story. I then took the book into a Kindergarten classroom to test the "real audience". The Rainbow Path provided a interactive method by allowing the kids to find the words as I run through every single page, light and dark, sometimes calling interest from the kids to read large exclamatory non-rainbow highlighted words. Can't be sure they got anything out of the narrative, but I think that's the point. The book reflects the age of the reader, one who takes the time to contemplate each page and pay attention to the details of the world, or one who wishes to rush to some goal and misses so many of beautiful/dark/unique experiences the world provides. I have now given those kids their first MZD experience in literature. Isn't that crazy?
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  • Ryo
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so short that I was able to read it all while sitting in a bookstore (sorry, but I didn't buy it [yet]), all three of the recommended ways. The story gets more complex as you go from the first to the second to the third way of reading it, though even the last way is not all that complex. It's very typical Danielewski with its typographic tricks (including making the word "house" blue like in House of Leaves), but way shorter and geared towards a much younger audience. If only there This book is so short that I was able to read it all while sitting in a bookstore (sorry, but I didn't buy it [yet]), all three of the recommended ways. The story gets more complex as you go from the first to the second to the third way of reading it, though even the last way is not all that complex. It's very typical Danielewski with its typographic tricks (including making the word "house" blue like in House of Leaves), but way shorter and geared towards a much younger audience. If only there were a way of actually hiding the irrelevant parts on the first and second readings - I couldn't help but notice the words from the second reading during the first, because they're right there in haloed words, but I realize the effect would be difficult to achieve in a physical book without separating the words by a much larger distance. I liked the message of overcoming fear and loss and anxiety, all packed into a very short narrative. It just left me wanting a much longer work from him.
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  • Annmarie
    January 1, 1970
    This has easily become the book that I will gift to everyone now. Especially parents and children, but to anyone really. Living in the murk my whole life and learning how maybe my mind can be like a sky has been a work in progress for a long time, just like Kai. This book will teach anyone about what it is to be brave, to be scared, what it’s like to live in the murk, and how to reach beyond the murk. If you have suffered from mental illness all your life or just the loss of someone close or This has easily become the book that I will gift to everyone now. Especially parents and children, but to anyone really. Living in the murk my whole life and learning how maybe my mind can be like a sky has been a work in progress for a long time, just like Kai. This book will teach anyone about what it is to be brave, to be scared, what it’s like to live in the murk, and how to reach beyond the murk. If you have suffered from mental illness all your life or just the loss of someone close or even just learning to live in a new place when you haven’t quite made your *house* a home yet, this is a book you will relate to and love. I will definitely be stocking quite a few copies of this book (perhaps in a brown paper bag in the bottom of a forgotten closet) to be gifted in every occasion that seems fit. MZD is truly an amazing author who can tackle difficult and complex novels for adults and simple but deeply meaningful books for all ages now.
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  • Keyblade Spirit
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully realized children's book with as much to teach you as it does your little ones. For fans of the Mark Z. Danielewski's other books, you'll find many hidden secrets in both the text and subtext that connect back to his entire body of work, all the way back to House of Leaves. For new readers of his work, you'll find the core of what he does best: weaving beautifully complex narratives that tell stories which are equally beautiful in their simplicity. As you work through the three A beautifully realized children's book with as much to teach you as it does your little ones. For fans of the Mark Z. Danielewski's other books, you'll find many hidden secrets in both the text and subtext that connect back to his entire body of work, all the way back to House of Leaves. For new readers of his work, you'll find the core of what he does best: weaving beautifully complex narratives that tell stories which are equally beautiful in their simplicity. As you work through the three ways the book asks you to read it in, the story opens up from a story of overcoming fear to become a story of casting off shackles of all kinds. Children will gain the language needed to describe feelings that they might otherwise avoid talking about while adults will learn to recognize those feelings before they get out of hand.
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  • Downward
    January 1, 1970
    an interesting thing to think about here is that when placed in the context of children's literature, danielewski's formal experimentation is pretty pedestrian, which what that says about the differences between children's brains and adult brains re structure and form is fascinating in about a thousand ways that I'm not remotely qualified to discuss and what it says about literature is that, well, I guess the simpler the story is the more easily form can move to the front of its aesthetic an interesting thing to think about here is that when placed in the context of children's literature, danielewski's formal experimentation is pretty pedestrian, which what that says about the differences between children's brains and adult brains re structure and form is fascinating in about a thousand ways that I'm not remotely qualified to discuss and what it says about literature is that, well, I guess the simpler the story is the more easily form can move to the front of its aesthetic expression - the complexities of emotional value expressed through the boundaries of language and presentation of that language become more impressive not with the range of experimentation but with the depth of emotional value.anyway. this is about anxiety and becoming yourself. it's ok.
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  • Kerbuhbuhbear
    January 1, 1970
    I love MZD so much. Each book of his is a work of art - poignant, and deep. I love that you can read this book 3 ways. Each way brought up different emotions for me.I just finished reading all 3 ways. Did anyone else bawl their eyes out over this book? My favorite was the second way. Somehow that hit me in the heart more than the other ways. I have so many feels. The 3rd way was a great story and I was super involved with Kai as a character. The 1st way made me feel light as birds and bright as I love MZD so much. Each book of his is a work of art - poignant, and deep. I love that you can read this book 3 ways. Each way brought up different emotions for me.I just finished reading all 3 ways. Did anyone else bawl their eyes out over this book? My favorite was the second way. Somehow that hit me in the heart more than the other ways. I have so many feels. The 3rd way was a great story and I was super involved with Kai as a character. The 1st way made me feel light as birds and bright as air.The quote on the back of the book hits me in the heart because it's so true. There's so much courage in allowing people to be free as they are, and allowing yourself to be free as well.
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