The Boy and the Airplane

illus. by author. 40p. S & S. Apr. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5123-0; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5125-4.
PreS—This beautifully designed, beautifully illustrated picture book uses muted beiges and grays for pages resembling brown wrapping paper and spare ink drawings in brown and dark red to tell a wordless story. A boy opens a wrapped package (presumably left for him by the man whose legs are seen walking off the opposite page), and he finds a toy airplane. He takes it outside and flies it, but the plane unfortunately lands on a roof. After various fruitless attempts with a ladder, lasso, baseball, and water hose to retrieve it, the child sits down to think things over, and a seed falls from a tree. He has an idea; he plants the seed and watches it grow to be a tree, as he grows older, too. When he is an old man, he finds the tree has grown enough that he can climb it and reach the roof where the airplane is still waiting. But when he tries to fly it, his arm is no longer strong enough, and the last spread shows a little girl holding a gift-wrapped box as the old man exits on the opposite page. Somewhat reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, this quiet book will captivate youngsters with its gentle charm.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

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