Grahame Baker-Smith. Candlewick/Templar, $12.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6370-4
Baker-Smith (Leon and the Place Between) won the 2011 Kate Greenaway Medal for this tale of a father lost and a dream reclaimed. The young narrator remembers a father gripped by the dream of flight, forever making wings and launching himself off the rocks above the sea. He never succeeds, and, though he clearly loves his son, his eyes are always on the sky. “Such a busy, bossy dream,” the son recalls, “that would not leave him alone or give him the time to play or sleep or think of other things.” Baker-Smith’s gilded images of the father’s elaborate winged contraptions and placid spreads of sky and clouds offer hope. But the army takes the father away (“I will always remember the day he left—the clothes they gave him, khaki against the scarlet poppies”), and he never returns. Years later, the boy realizes that his father’s dream has become his own. As a story with a long horizon and a mysterious loss, it may leave some readers uneasy, but its portrait of the complex, delicately balanced relationship between father and son lingers. Ages 5–7. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 02/26/2013
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