cover image Budgie, the Little Helicopter

Budgie, the Little Helicopter

Sarah Ferguson, Dutchess of York, Of York Duchess. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $14 (33pp) ISBN 978-0-671-67683-4

Readers first encounter Budgie in Budgie the Little Helicopter . He has a broad grin and freckles, wears the brim of his hat turned up and works very hard, but has to have a thorough scrub-down after ferrying lobsters. In his first adventure, as recorded by the Duchess, Budgie volunteers to accompany pretty Pippa the Piper (Piper: a make of aircraft) on her maiden flight. As Pippa loops and swoops through the skies, Budgie keeps an eye on the weather. A thunderstorm hits just when Budgie and Pippa are off to rescue a kidnapped girl. They follow the kidnappers' car, and Budgie manages to land nearby and save her, while Pippa goes for help. These bold tactics result in the arrest of the villains, but Budgie, though feted as a hero, has to have another scrub. After another dashing rescue, in Budgie at Bendick's Point (this time over the sea), the modest young whirlybird gets to lead the flypast at the airshow in recognition of his heroism. These jolly stories, ideal for reading aloud, have the perfect complement in Richardson's colorful, bouncy pictures. There's plenty of cheery, almost nostalgic appeal in these anthropomorphized aircraft whose hearts are in the right places. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)