Jez Alborough is a hugely popular author and illustrator of books for children. His stories about Eddy & the Bear have inspired an animated television series on CiTV, Among his other titles are several about a character called Duck, one of which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.
PreS-Gr 2-In this tribute to the power of positive thinking, rhyming verses describe how Sid, a young hound, experiences an uplifting revelation on his morning trip to school: a joyful feeling "filled him up so much he found/his paws just lifted off the ground." Once airborne, he twirls and swirls "like a doggy-shaped balloon" for the rest of the journey. Alas, his fellow canines can't get past their own grounded paws and refuse to believe him. Even his teacher points out, "All dogs walk and jump and run,/but dogs don't fly-it can't be done." Finally, when a classmate asks Sid to demonstrate his new ability, the now-unhappy pooch is unable to get off the ground. Dazed and dejected, he returns home with his self-confidence destroyed. Sid's parents soon come to the rescue, as his dad reveals a secret he's kept for ages. Done in gouache, the illustrations glow with bright colors as the excited pup leaps off the page in delighted flight. A variety of perspectives and the range of expressions on the characters' faces will entertain readers. A wonderful addition to any library and a great choice for storytime, this book will speak to children facing new situations or lacking self-esteem.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Going to be one of the biggest hits of all time... Starry rhyming text, and starry starry Starry picture book. This year's shining gem." The Guardian; "We can't recommend this highly enough. An inspirational and beautifully written tale... As fun to look at as it is to read. Treat your kids as soon as possible." Baby & You, Book of the Month"
This tale seems stale compared with Alborough's previous work in Hug or Where's My Teddy? When Sid the puppy "set[s] off for school one day, a happy feeling [comes] his way." Suddenly, he finds himself literally light as air and flying among the clouds, but when he tries to prove his ability to his scornful, mocking classmates, he fails miserably. Sid looks like a fetching stuffed animal prototype in Alborough's characteristically energetic gouaches, here effectively divided into panels to indicate successive actions. However, the clunky text weighs the book down with clich?d ideas. The climactic scene features Sid's father sounding more like a child psychologist than a hound dad: " `I know a secret, Sid,' he said./ `Could you keep it safe inside?' " The narrator helpfully rhymes, " `What's the secret?' Sid replied." When Sid watches his father flying, he learns the answer: "Do dogs fly? Is it true? Some dogs don't, and some dogs do." Children just learning to distinguish fact from fancy may have difficulty understanding what their negative or positive feelings (or scorn from their classmates) have to do with metaphorical flight. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.