Newbery Honor winner Mavis Jukes's highly praised picture book is reissued with a new jacket and in a more appealing trim size. This intimate, loving story of loss and letting go is just right for any child (or adult) coping with the loss of a loved one. Full-color illustrations. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
"/*STARRED REVIEW*/ Ages 6-9. With the brilliant colors of a wild sunset sky, this picture book expresses the exhilaration of flying a plane and connects that power with a sense of fragility and grief. A small girl, like Amelia Earhart, takes off in a biplane, like a moth at dusk, and skywrites "I love you" and "goodbye" in the clouds as a message for her terminally ill young uncle in his hospital room. But then it turns out her flight is imaginary; she's really a passenger, with her mother, on a big, crowded jet on her way to visit the hospital. The brightly colored unframed pictures express the sense of rushing movement, of energy and connection in her imaginary flight and in the jet; the contrasting stillness at the hospital bed and the final image of her uncle's empty flight jacket at the window open to a starry night are heartbreaking. But the way the story ends ("And she would know what she would write to him--if she were a skywriter") makes you want to start over at the beginning, when she was flying in her soaring imagination. That's the connection she has. Without sentimentality or falseness, the spare, echoing words make the death a part of the "rise and fall" of life as she imagines herself "Airborne, in darkness," like the flyer she loved. (Reviewed Mar. 1, 1993)0679826904Hazel Rochman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"The familiar sentiments of an Amelia Earhart-inspired fantasy (``If she were a skywriter, she would wait for the sky to turn pink and blue--the colors of dusk or dawn'') that open this heartfelt story turn out to be the futile hopes of a youngster en route to a visit with her dying uncle, a pilot. Jukes ( Like Jake and Me ; No One Is Going to Nashville ) is deliberately vague about the uncle and his illness, focusing on the narrator as her thoughts ricochet from what she'd like to do to what she must do. Readers are led to assume that the girl's extensive knowledge of planes and flying, which she recites to herself like a pacifying mantra, is the result of her relationship with her uncle, although this rather shadowy link may need to be explained to younger readers. In the transition from fantasy to reality the text bogs down a bit as the actual situation is explained; yet this, too, mirrors the heaviness of the information to be absorbed. Schuett's ( Is It Dark? Is It Light? ) paintings accentuate the dreamlike quality of the text with a somewhat soft-focus rendering of figures fringed in light, and with dramatic, radiant skies. While noble in its effort and handsome in its execution, this book may raise more questions than it answers in literal-minded youngsters. Ages 5-10. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved