Simply Exploring those First Complex Emotions | Review of “Think Again” by JonArno Lawson / Illustrated by Julie Morstad (2010) KCP Poetry

think_again

It isn’t easy trying to grow up. You are awash with advice, thoughts, desires, emotions, and so on, that you just don’t what to do. An adolescent sometimes just needs a quiet moment to ponder a few things before they act. And JonArno Lawson and Julie Morstad have created a small volume to aid in that act of reflection for a young mind called Think Again.

Thoughtless (Page 11)

I try to leave all thoughts behind me,

but they always know.

They start to search and start to find

me everywhere I go.

Is being thoughtless such a crime?

My thoughts seem to think so.

Lawson has a great gift in the ability to write simple phrases that are thought-provoking and memorable. And he has incorporated that gift into this work as well. His phrases are based on the thoughts of a confused adolescent mind and are simple enough not to be too ‘preachy’ for a teenager to want to read.

Up To Your Neck (Page 20)

I know  that you might not agree

But it won’t matter much if you’re dead

Better three days up to your neck

Than five minutes over your head.

Julie Morstad  has created brilliant images to illustrate each of the phrases. The black-and-white drawings are – like Lawson’s words – seemingly simple illustrations but are quite complex when they are pondered. Perfect for a young mind to reflect on.

Scanned image of pages 16-17 of "Think Again" Words by JonArno Lawson. Illustrations by Julie Morstad.
Scanned image of pages 16-17 of “Think Again” Words by JonArno Lawson. Illustrations by Julie Morstad.

Think Again by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Julie Morstad is an excellent reflection of teenage fears, angst and desires. ‘Not too wordy’ and ‘not to preachy’ it allows the adolescent mind to carefully ponder themselves in this complex world. A great piece of literature.

*****

Link to JonArno Lawson Blog

Link to Julie Morstad’s website

Link to Kids Can Press’ webpage for Think Again

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