Tessa Takes Wing

illus. by Julie Downing. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Jul. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626724396.
Toddler-PreS—While the rest of the household is asleep, baby Tessa grows wings, flies up and out of her crib, and, accompanied by the family dog, Bingo, engages in several adventures. It's dark, the moon is still large in the sky, and Tessa's head pops up in her crib. "Up," she says, and, undeterred by the lack of response, sprouts tiny wings and floats across the room. She plays with her sister's toy elephant, fire truck, and umbrella, and even reads some books. Finally, day breaks, and Daddy comes in to scoop Tess up and carry her to breakfast. Now she can be "up" for real—in her high chair, on Daddy's shoulders, and flying in Mama's arms. The illustrations, executed in digitally combined watercolor and colored pencil, usher readers into a darkened, toy-filled bedroom, where Tessa's round head stands out above her red flowered pajamas. The baby's body forms a ball as she floats aloft, and then performs acrobatic stunts clinging to a fire truck ladder. A series of circular vignettes across two pages depict Tessa devising several ways to use her sister's polka-dotted umbrella. There are many humorous touches, including the interactions between Bingo, baby, and books. Alert readers will also notice that older sister Maggie has her own set of wings.
VERDICT This fantasy, a delightful pairing of minimal text and humorous illustrations, is sure to be enjoyed by young children and their adults, who just may be convinced that Tessa's mischievous thoughts float in their own little ones' heads.

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