For the birds? Not these new picture books!
The plight of the flightless is on display in three recent additions to our children’s picture book collection. In Flight School, by Lita Judge, an enthusiastic young penguin believes he was “hatched to fly.” He eagerly joins the titular flight school for birds; however, though he has the “soul of an eagle” and is ready to soar, he has the stubby wings of a penguin, keeping him grounded. Nevertheless, the peerless penguin persists and, with the help of his feathered friends, reaches great heights.
A similar penguin tale is told in Richard Byrne’s Penguins Can’t Fly! Here, two best friends—a gull named Gregory and a penguin named Hudson—begin to grow apart when one takes to the skies, where, sadly, the other cannot follow. Hudson the penguin tries his darnedest to fly, employing springs and trampolines, among other efforts—but to no avail. He plummets to the earth, only to be mocked by mean gulls. But, in a harrowing turn of events, Hudson is called upon to use his natural talents to save the day, proving that although he is flightless, he’s still pretty special.
Finally, there’s Let’s Go, Hugo! by Angela Dominguez. Hugo, an adorably be-scarfed yellow Parisian bird, refuses to fly—he prefers walking. But one day, he is invited by Lulu, a pretty pink bird with a red bow, to view the Eiffel Tower. Of course, this will require flying. Yikes! He stalls for time, taking Lulu for a long walk in the park. Quickly, night comes, and Lulu flies away before they can visit the tower. Hugo resolves then to overcome his fear of flying so he can better enjoy his time with his new friend.
All three picture books feature bright and colorful illustrations, full of the action of flight. And each speaks to the power of friendship and perseverance in overcoming obstacles and achieving seemingly impossible goals.
Emily @ Central Library Children's Room