Ursa’s Light

Deborah Marcero. Peter Pauper, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4413-1881-7
Ursa, a city-dwelling bear, lives life to the max. While her classmates fold rudimentary paper airplanes, she designs an airship with turrets. When they study the solar system, she dons a homemade solar system costume (with herself as the sun, naturally). In her bedroom one night she has a vision: “I am going to fly!” Inspired by pigeons, dandelion seeds, and bats (her notebook sketches are included), Ursa tries to launch ambitious flying contraptions, but they all fail. An audition for a role as a shooting star gives Ursa another chance, and her performance is, of course, a triumph: “She channeled the strength of the pigeon, the lightness of the dandelion seed, the agility of the bat, and a huge internal roar.” Marcero’s (the Backyard Witch series) urban setting and somber palette of grays, rusts, and olives counterbalance the story’s more cloying moments, as do moments of quiet humor. Night scenes draw a parallel between Ursa and the constellation that bears her name. A gentle prod toward following one’s dreams, even after embarrassing failures. Ages 4–8. Agent: Danielle Smith, Red Fox Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/25/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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