cover image FLY!


Christopher A. Myers, . . Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0652-2

Myers revisits the theme of flight he explored in his mythically inspired Wings, this time with a more earthbound lesson in friendship. As a lone boy sits high atop his apartment building, he observes "a twisting river of birds flying patterns above my house." An emerald-green background emphasizes the boy's downcast expression; the darkness seems to weigh upon him, despite his sunny yellow shirt. The artist then shifts the perspective from the exterior view of the window to the shadowy interior of the apartment—the flying pigeons outside the window dominate the vignettes. As the boy voices his frustration at being trapped inside, he yells at the pigeons, until a voice comes from the rooftop "like grits and gravy rains through the window." The voice belongs to the birds' keeper, an older man dressed in white—"his skin is dark brown, the color of church wood, and sharp at the edges." He becomes the boy's unlikely instructor in the ways of friendship. As the boy ascends the stairs to the roof, his very clothing reflects the inevitable transition he undergoes: his magenta pants blend with the stairwell, while the patch of sunlight at the summit matches his T-shirt. With the man's guidance, the inscrutable patterns of the birds make sense to the boy. Just as readers learn most effectively from Myers's nonverbal cues here, the boy, too, learns to bond with the man in white, and with his birds, through observation rather than words. All ages. (Nov.)