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April 21, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Flight School

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Flight SchoolJudge, Lita. Flight School. illus. by Lita Judge. 40p. S & S/Atheneum. Apr. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442481770; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442481787. LC 2012046161.
K-Gr 2–Little Penguin, who has the self-proclaimed “soul of an eagle,” wants to fly. Steering his motorboat into a dockside flight school for birds, he announces to the other feathery students and teacher that “[he] was hatched to fly.” Teacher and Flamingo are unconvinced, but they allow Little Penguin to take lessons anyway. Outfitted with goofy red googles, Little Penguin certainly has the will, if not the talent. Even after practicing for weeks and enthusiastically jumping off the dock with a loud “Geronimo!” he still flops deep into the ocean instead of soaring above. Brokenhearted, he sets sail for home. But then Flamingo has an idea. Tying feathers and a fishing line onto Little Penguin, Flamingo helps lift him skyward while Little Penguin does his best to “Flip, flap, flip, flap, flap.” Soon, he soars as he had always dreamed of doing. Alas, it doesn’t last. Unfortunately, even with the soul of an eagle, “he still has the body of a little round penguin.” Nevertheless, his dream achieved, Little Penguin leaves flight school one happy little bird. So happy, in fact, that he soon returns with another friend with his own dreams of flying–an ostrich with the “soul of a swallow.” Judge successfully balances the humor in the storytelling, the drawings, and the situations. Rendered in watercolor and pencil and situated on a bright yellow background, the illustrations perfectly fit this delightful and charming book.–Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA

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