Time to Fly (George Ella Lyon)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Time to Fly, written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, a classic story of learning to spread one’s wings.

Upon realizing that its siblings have left the nest, a young robin wonders where they’ve gone. “They took off, said my mother. You’ve outgrown this woven home.” And though Mother Robin does everything she can to convince her fledgling that the time has come to spreads its own wings, the young bird remains unconvinced of the importance of mastering flight; “Nest is best,” it insists. How will Mother Robin prove to her little one that, while the next step may be scary, it can be wonderfully empowering as well?

Sweet. Baby bird leaving the nest as a metaphor for growing up isn’t a particularly groundbreaking framework for a story, but Lyon’s cheerful, rhythmic text and Coleman’s charming illustrations combine to create an enjoyable interpretation of the trope, especially for young readers who may be leaving the safety of their own nests very soon to start school. Still, some of the story’s elements become confusing within the context of this metaphor, such as the idea that the young robin’s nest will not be a place of safety forever due to hawks (in contrast to a child’s own home typically portrayed as a constant of security). Otherwise, the length is fine for a storytime, JJ liked the interplay between the mother and baby bird, and this was overall an enjoyable read. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Lali’s Feather (Farhana Zia)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Lali’s Feather, written by Farhana Zia and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, a delightful story of ingenuity and friendship.

Lali is playing in the field one day when she finds a feather. Wishing to return it to its owner, she asks Rooster, Crow, and Peacock if they are missing it. They all say no, pointing out the feather’s plainness (as opposed to Peacock’s fancy feathers) and pokeyness (as opposed to Crow’s perky feathers), and so on. So Lali decides to keep her feather to play with. Her friends Hen, Duck, Jay laugh at the little feather, but as Lali finds more and more ways to creatively play with the feather, all six of the birds become more excited and invested. Then, when a gust of wind blows the feather out of Lali’s grasp, she is left broken-hearted. Fortunately, her feathered friends are there, and eager to bring her feather back.

Wonderfully unique. Various themes are explored in this one (different species of birds, imaginative play, not judging by appearances, etc.), all weaving together to create a story that is rich with substance yet light and fun to read. Particularly enjoyable is Lali’s creative mind, which can find a hundred uses for a plain, small, pokey feather, such as tickling, sweeping, writing, and more. It shows little readers that any ordinary object can be a toy, and the very best games are often the ones we create ourselves. The illustrations are gorgeous, creating a lush country home setting and memorable characters. Lali’s Indian culture is flawlessly woven throughout, from her bindi and clothing to the Indian slang used in the dialogue (translations are not provided, yet easy to guess from context). The length is perfect, and JJ adored the colors and characters. A marvelously enjoyable tale, 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.)