cover image I'm Flying!

I'm Flying!

Alan Wade. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $13.95 (33pp) ISBN 978-0-394-84510-4

A boy attaches his math book to a helium balloon and watches excitedly as all his problems drift out of sight forever. This pneumatically inspired solution works well in eliminating other sources of disturbance in his life, and many things have disappeared over a period of time, including the boy's pesky dog and cat, his uncomfortable Sunday shoes and even his teacher, Miss Follendorf. The boy's father is suspicious, and asks, ``Where the heck is everything disappearing to?'' One day the boy takes a trip in a lawn chair festooned with 16 balloons and lands on a faraway tropical isle where he observes his teacher doing the hula on the beach. The theme of banishment and its resolution is imaginatively worked out in this quirky, inspired tale. The rather unusual plot and jocular style make this an excellent choice for the older picture book reader. Mathers's colorful paintings have a rustic, almost folk-art charm that translates curiously into a visual sophistication perfectly attuned with the advanced text. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)