Just In Case You Want To Fly

Holiday House/Neal Porter Bks. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823443444.
PreS-Gr 2–Uplifting text and enchanting artwork provide encouragement for youngsters looking to dream big and journey far, as well as soothing reassurance that home will always be waiting. “Just in case you want to fly/here’s some wind/and here’s the sky.” As a smiling girl gazes out of her apartment window at laundry swaying on a clothesline, one shirt is carried away by the breeze, seemingly headed for adventures unknown and giving the impression that anything is possible. Reading with the cadence and familiarity of a favorite nursery rhyme, the verses gently outfit listeners with all of the required necessities for imaginary excursions, from “a cherry if you need a snack/and if you get itchy…a scratch on the back” to “a joke/if you want to laugh” and a tissue and a sigh “just in case you want to cry.” Loosely echoing a getting-ready-for-bed routine, the book comes to a cozy climax with the offering of “honey for your tea” and “a map/with an x on the spot/to find your way/home to me.” Done in paint and collage, the artwork utilizes simple shapes and textured brush strokes to depict an appealing cast of diverse children and an array of whimsically rendered animals and everyday objects.
VERDICT Striking a dream-nurturing balance between the commonplace and the magical, this lovely picture book is perfect for sharing one-on-one at bedtime or anytime.

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