cover image Take a Breath

Take a Breath

Sujean Rim. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-9253-0

Bob, a bird who resembles a scarlet-hued soup dumpling, “can’t quite fly yet,” writes Rim (Happy Springtime!). When his fellow birds wing into a sky of bright blue watercolor blooms, Bob tries to stay cool (“Alrighty then. See you guys later”) and keep busy: readers tag along as the minimally detailed drawings show Bob gardening, playing a little chess, and trying to get airborne, to no avail. “He starts to worry/ and begins to doubt.// Bob, in fact,/ is really freaking out,” the narrator confides, until friendly Crow (handsomely rendered in smudgy black with glints of deep blue) offers Bob some been-there sympathy and a life-changing pro tip: “Take a breath.” Bob almost hyperventilates on his first attempt, but then, in a keenly instructive spread, Crow walks Bob step by step (“Okay, let’s first reset and shake out our feathers”) through a classic deep breathing exercise. Mindful and exhilarated, Bob sprouts a tie-dyed aura and soon takes to the sky. “Sometimes you just/ have to be grounded/ before you can fly,” concludes this wise and chatty tale—a lesson that may help breathe new life into stressed adults and kids alike. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)