Current Picks: Book Reviews
The Little Blue Kite
Author Mark Z. Danielewski is known for writing complicated and challenging books (House of Leaves, The Familiar Vol. 1-5) that not only require an abundance of time, but also a strong mental fortitude to finish reading. With his new book, The Little Blue Kite (2019), Danielewski breaks from his norm in an attempt to write something short and simple, but still with his familiar style of deep literary meanings and mesmerizing typography. But ultimately, what Danielewski ended up creating is a children's book that offers the reader more to take away from it as the reader grows older.
The Little Blue Kite tells the story of Kai and his little blue kite, both of whom love to fly. The story is accompanied by colorful, sprawling artwork that ranges from beautiful to foreboding. While the story may be simple, Danielewski tells it in three different ways, each growing more detailed and deep than the last. While all three stories are told on the same pages and through the same text, they're separated from each other by being written in different colors. Danielewski challenges the reader to first read the book by reading only the rainbow colored words in the book, followed by only reading the blue, red, and rainbow words, and then finally by reading every word from front to back cover.
What this does is quite extraordinary, as a story unfolds that can be enjoyed by small children, teenagers, and adults alike. While this book may be appropriate for all ages, the ones with the most to gain from it are adults: particularly those that might feel lost in the doldrums of living their adult lives.
Ultimately, this books attempts to remind its readers that life is only as bleak as we let it be and that sometimes in order to be happy and live our lives to the fullest, all we have to do is make the time to do the things we love. For some of us, that might mean playing guitar or piano. For others, perhaps it means to paint on a canvas or take a hike through a beautiful forest. And for others yet, maybe it might be as simple as flying a kite in a big blue sky.