Helicopter moms have not fared well in print—until now.
The parent starring in this light-hearted saga is nurturing a timid fledgling. When the autumnal leaves start to fall, young George still has not tested his wings. Cognizant of both the seasonal pull to head south and her son's fear of flying, the mother bird calmly opts to address his more immediate need—hunger. In the instant that she is off foraging, however, the wind lifts the nest out of the tree, and George appears exhilarated by the seemingly secure flight. The tension of the separation is short-lived, as mama bird quickly responds, although all she can do is fly nearby, shouting advice as the nest is transported by a car, a barge and a load of lumber. Ultimately, a crisis with a cat leads to the nest's destruction. James employs sequential panels and single-page compositions until the climax, when a double-spread depicts the triumphant learner. Fluid lines and breezy watercolor washes complement the low-key parenting style: This mama hovers patiently, mixing admonishment with encouragement.ÃÂ George, for his part, manages to listen, communicate his feelings and keep trying.
These unflappable characters provide likable, positive role models for readers young and old, who may then enjoy sharing Mordicai Gerstein's Leaving the Nest (2007), in which several species spread their wings. (Picture book. 3-5)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
In James's understated yet action-packed story, other birds are heading south in autumn, but tiny George tells his mother he's not quite ready to learn to fly: "I think I like my nest best." While she's off finding worms, a gust of wind lifts George and his nest from a tree branch, and he lands on the roof of a parked car. Becoming airborne again, the nest comes to rest on beams stacked on a boat, which are delivered to a construction site. It's not until the nest disintegrates during a final tumble that George, encouraged by his mother, rises to the challenge. Beige and pale blue dominate the subtle palette of James's (the Baby Brains series) minimalist ink and watercolor pictures, arranged in square and rectangular panels, full-page scenarios, and--when George at last takes flight--a sprawling double-page vista. Despite his timidity, George is no wimp: he clearly enjoys his inadvertent adventures in flight, buoyed by the security of his nest. A fun reminder that, even if the training wheels fall off, kids can handle more than they may realize. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 2--Young George is particularly reluctant to leave the nest even though he should be learning to fly to head south before winter. "I think I like my nest best./Will you get some worms, Mom?/I'll stay here." Then a big gust of wind takes the nest and George with it off on a wild adventure. Soft watercolor illustrations show an amazingly calm bird sailing into more and more precarious positions, tracked by his distressed mama. With his nest beneath him, he still feels somewhat safe but ultimately this security falls apart and George must try to fly on his own. Full of detail and heart, the illustrations bring the story to life. This spare book is beautifully designed from its charming endpapers to the climactic and satisfying final spread.--Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA[Page 108]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.