Paper Planes (Jim Helmore & Richard Jones)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Paper Planes by Jim Helmore & Richard Jones, a touching story of enduring friendship.

Mia and Ben are best friends. They grew up next door to each other on the shore of a great, wide lake. They share everything, especially their greatest passion: aeronautics. Making paper and model planes, they would race their creations against the flying geese and dream of one day making a plane that could fly all the way across the lake. Yet their idyllic friendship is suddenly dealt a heavy blow; Ben breaks the news that his family is moving very far away. The pair promise to remember each other, and to stay friends. But as the seasons change, Mia begins to feel ever lonelier, hurt, and sad. In a rage, she smashes the model plane Ben had given her as a goodbye present, and feels even worse. That night, however, something magical happens: the plane is restored, and able to fly Mia across the sea to visit Ben in her dreams. And when she wakes, she finds that, even through distance and strain, great friendship is worth working on.

Fantastic. This gentle and tender tale of the difficulty of losing a friend to distance – both literal and figurative – is as beautiful to look at as it is to read. Mia and Ben both experience the quiet and lonesome frustrations of their separation in a way that does not trivialize these very big feelings, yet gives the reader hope that those same feelings will pass. And Ben’s final gesture of reaching out to Mia works as a wonderful metaphor for the work that both parties must put into a friendship, and how incredible the results can be. The soft, chalky art is stunning and emotional, and fits the tone of the story perfectly. The length is fine for any age and JJ and I both loved it. A great story of the power of friendship to help us fly, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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