cover image Little Wing Learns to Fly

Little Wing Learns to Fly

Calista Brill, illus. by Jennifer A. Bell. Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-236033-5

A friendly young dragon with a balloon-like head, serpentine tail, and small pink wings discovers the pleasures and perils of independence in this first picture book from graphic novel editor Brill. Determined to fly and well aware that “a dragon never gives up,” Little Wing practices liftoff daily, with the same futile results: “Flip. Flap. Flop.” When at last “Flop” is replaced by “Flutter” and Little Wing takes flight, his mother tries to make sure he knows the rules of flying—not to fly too high, too far, or without her—but Little Wing proposes a rule of his own: “A dragon never comes down!” Blown by the wind into a dark forest, Little Wing finds his excitement turning to fear, but luckily mama dragons “never give up” either. Brill gives her winged protagonist an enthusiastic personality and voice, and Bell (Rhoda’s Rock Hunt) creates an appealingly cozy fairy-tale landscape, particularly the thatched cottage the dragons share—even the darkened forest never gets too scary. A reassuring story, if not a boundary-pushing one. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Associates. (June)