Monday, October 28, 2019

But HOW DO I... Fly! by Mark Teague

This fledgling flight denier thinks he's got it all figured out.


It's been a cinch since he hatched. He waits in the nest and Mama Robin brings him breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. What's not to like?

The only problem is the lack of scintillation in his diet. Worms for every meal and snack? Bo-RING!


Baby Robin is the avian contrarian version of the terrible twos! Mama Robin is fatigued and frazzled with her youngster's tantrums!

But--OOPS! Baby Robin's little food fit flips him right out of the nest. He flutters and flops all the way to the ground. Now what?

Mama suggests he flap his wings and fly back up to the nest. Baby suggests she carry him back up on her back. Mama suggests he try flapping his own wings. Baby is stubborn. He's oppositional. He's a classic case of FAILURE TO FLEDGE!

He summons up images of alternative modes of flight--from piggy-back to pogo stick, from hot-air balloon to vintage aircraft. from super-hero soaring to ski jumping. Mama is steamed. Enough of this silliness. Autumn is coming. She's ready to fly to Florida--soon. Baby suggests alternate means of travel--

Orange Blossom Special? Skateboard? Little Red Convertible?

Mama Robin decides it's time to stop this stonewalling and scare her litigious little fledgling straight!

Cat? (Yawn!) Dog? (Piece of cake!)

OWL?.... YIKES!!!!!!!

It's up, up, and away for this reluctant little launcher, in best-selling author-illustrator, Mark Teague's latest, Fly! (Beach Lane Books, 2019). Mama knows best in this terrific wordless story, and although simple enough for a savvy toddler who understands the concept of speech bubbles, preschoolers can "read" this one with ease, and even older kids will giggle at the graphic absurdities and the subtleties of this war of the wills.

Teague, the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's top-selling  Poppleton series, Teague's own Mrs. LaRue series, and Jane Yolen's uber-popular How Do Dinosaurs... (see reviews here), is a modern master of illustrative humor, and as Publishers Weekly's starred review says, "Teague proves that a picture can be worth a thousand words--and almost as many laughs."

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