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The Little Blue Kite

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  70 reviews
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
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Pantheon Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  254 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-pending
i am a monster.

review to come.

Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jessica Nelson
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: rain-taxi, 2019
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
This author is known for his mind-bending stories, fonts, and graphics. This book holds no exception. Although classified as an adult graphic novel, this book about anxiety and overcoming it can be enjoyed by all ages.
Rod Brown
Dec 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
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,
Daniel Williams
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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!
Robert James Cross
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don't like children's literature but I enjoyed the light-heartedness of the grand idea. Well written.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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,
Miles Woodfield
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dreebs Thornhill
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Booked podcast
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Check out our interview with Mark:
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Hannah Smith
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Check out my podcast review:
Bonnie Grover
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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.
Logan Albright
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
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, ...more
Olivia Fishwick
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Fans of the previous complex and defiantly weird books of the author might be a little dismayed (as I was) at what even Mr. D. admits is a very simple book, in the style of a children's book for maybe a third grader. And although the graphics are, as one would expect, terrific and colorful, the message about overcoming fear and giving others their space is just a wee bit twee and granola-ish for my personal taste. Your mileage may vary....
Nick Burns
Going to need to process this one before I can rate it. So ambitious, yet simple. Still feels like I’m unwinding the string.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, Poetic, Uplifting, Moving, and Profound.

I’m a bit shaken by this beautiful and simple story. Mark Z Danielewski has done it again.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had this book as a kid, it would have helped. It helps having it as an adult as well.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nick Binge
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
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
Jeff Bassin
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Mark Z. Danielewski is an American author best known for his books House of Leaves, Only Revolutions, The Fifty Year Sword, The Little Blue Kite, and The Familiar series.

Danielewski studied English Literature at Yale. He then decided to move to Berkeley, California, where he took a summer program in Latin at the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent time in Paris, preoccupied mostly