Ideas Are All Around

by Philip C. Stead

As an author and his dog, Wednesday, walk through their neighborhood, they look at sunflowers, say hi to Frank, a turtle, who makes quick for the water and disappears, and watch a train rumble by as they walk uphill to a big purple house that belongs to their friend Barbara. Wednesday chases squirrels while the two friends discuss fishing and war and how back before the neighborhood was there enormous wooly mammoths roamed where houses now sit.

Thoughts open up to other thoughts, and ideas are born and carried forward, often transforming into other ideas until he finds that ideas really are all around, you just have to know what to do with them.

Buy the Book


"The art is glorious, creatively mixing small photographs—presented as Polaroids—with ink and watercolor paintings... a provocative, artful journey."

School Library Journal, starred review

"In all, Stead has given readers a deeply felt, deeply connected story that is homage to creation—and really quite brilliant."

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The multimedia artwork…is amazing, with photographs, collage etchings, and splatter art (example: a blue splash of paint transforms into a horse) mingling across vibrant spreads."

Booklist, starred review

"Stead’s bits and pieces of drawing and observation, his willingness to lay bare his uncertainty, and his rough sketches of the natural world don’t form a polished or seamless whole. Yet their very fragmentariness tells an important truth about the way artists begin to create."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Ideas Are All Around Sweepstakes

How are you inspiring creativity in your classroom or library?

Tell us how you're showing kids that Ideas Are All Around and enter for a chance to win $500 towards supplies for your classroom or library, and a set of all books by Philip C. Stead.

Two grand prize winners each receive:
  • $500 towards supplies for their classroom or library.
  • One set of all books by Philip C. Stead
Ten first prize winners will receive:
  • One set of all books by Philip C. Stead

For inspiration and activities to promote creativity in your classroom, download the Ideas Are All Around activity kit.

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No purchase necessary. Open only to full-time school teachers, professors and librarians who are legal residents of the 50 United States or D.C. who are who are eighteen (18) years of age or older and of the age of majority. Must enter by 11:59 p.m. EST on 4/30/2016. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit Sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.