Kevin Luthardt captures that spirit of imagination in his picture book Flying, a terrific library find for us recently. Like so many great books we've read over the past couple of years, this was one we stumbled on by accident - yet another reason we love to browse the shelves at our library or bookstore. Sprout pulled this one down himself and announced, "Hey, he looks like me!" upon seeing the cover (he's pretty right, too).
It's a simple story that begins with a little guy reading a book about birds, and imagining himself also soaring among the clouds. "Papa, why can't I fly?", he asks his dad, and Papa patiently explains. But soon the father and son get caught up in the fun of creative play. As Papa tosses his son up and down, runs with the kiddo on his shoulders, and generally recreates the experience of flight, the little guy can't help but be swept away to dip and weave with the birds. And you know what else? Papa's got himself flying too!
There's not a lot of text in this title, which for us means there's even more room to delve into the imagintive aspect. The pictures in this book are absolutely charming, cartoony yet realistic and bursting with energy and color. Little ones will recognize their own creative pursuits in the boy's imaginings. Best of all, the story ends with a chuckle for grownups, who will once again see echoes of their own kids in Luthardt's hero. This sweet and simple story is just right for even the smallest readers, and opens up so much possibility for talking about all the activities and places made real through our imagination!
Flying by Kevin Luthardt, published by Peachtree Publishers
Sample: "But. . . why don't I have wings? / Well, that's because you have ARMS!"
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