HERE COMES INGO by Odeta Xheka belongs to the text-free genre of picture books, and makes a welcome addition. The story of Ingo–a red female macaw who drifts into the world of dreams while tending her nest–takes young readers on a magical journey filled with gorgeous, unusual imagery. As Ingo navigates her lush forest home during her dream, she meets animals doing a variety of interesting things. There’s a wolf wrapped in a rainbow, as well as frogs getting piggyback rides from fish. For some strange reason there’s even cupcakes!
Each page showcases the figurative art collage technique, an ancient form of artistry where some characters appear as cutouts glued onto the page. And while the story can at first seem challenging to understand given the unique imagery, it encourages children to use their imaginations and figure out what Ingo is doing as she flies through her dream world. Every image is a positive one, and shows Ingo engaging with different members of the animal kingdom. Such imagery provides a wonderful example of coming together in spite of any differences, looks-related or otherwise, and enjoying assorted commonalities (cupcakes, perhaps?).
Helping children develop vivid imaginations is one of the best things parents can do for their little ones. It fosters creativity, unique thought processes, intellectual growth, self-assurance, social and problem-solving skills, and even helps preserve memories. This book allows children to dive into a colorful world, learn about macaws and other jungle animals, and come up with their own stories. Perhaps the frogs are gathering to sing a fun tune, or the butterfly and bird of prey are Ingo’s new best friends. Maybe the ladybugs have secret powers they want to share with Ingo, or the cupcakes have somehow learned to fly.
HERE COMES INGO is a fabulous treat for the eyes that parents will enjoy “reading” over and over again with their kids, coming up with different stories each time and learning about various animals. The author even writes on the back of the book that the story is not over when Ingo’s dream ends, encouraging her readers to come up with assorted ideas.
HERE COMES INGO by Odeta Xheka is a stunning visual story about a female macaw’s elaborate dream with underlying themes of love, tolerance, kindness, and inclusion and will make an excellent addition to any storybook collection.
~Kent Page McGroarty for IndieReader