Christopher Myers Fly!

ISBN 13: 9780786806522

Fly!

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9780786806522: Fly!
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Jawanza watches everything from his window. He watches the children running and playing below, but most of all he watches the birds write all over the sky scribbling their crazy bird clouds. When he steps outside and meets Roderick the Three and his ensemble of feathered friends, he discovers a unique and unexpected friendship. Award-winning author/illustrator Christopher Myers brings us a thoughtful look at the beauty of friendship with Fly.

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From School Library Journal:

K-Gr 4-The intriguing title page of this stunning picture book pulls readers into the story of a lonely boy who views the world from his top-floor city apartment. From the window, he watches and hollers at the pigeons, "a twisting river of birds flying patterns above my house." His observations puzzle him: why are they flying "all crazy bunched together-making pigeon clouds?" It takes Mr. Roderick Jackson Montgomery the Three, who spends his time on the apartment house roof talking to, naming, and dancing with the birds, to help Jawanza understand them and to begin replacing his isolation with friendship. At first impatient with "Young blood" for yelling at his "onliest friends," the old man quickly befriends the child, introducing him to the individuality of the pigeons and urging patience with the promise that he, too, will ultimately dance with them. Eloquently told, the seemingly simple story suggests hidden layers of meaning, and readers will wonder why its two characters are so alone. Myers's dramatic paintings paradoxically both underscore the mystery and downplay unsettling elements, focusing attention instead on the extraordinary visual experience. Vivid blues, purples, greens, yellows, and reds play against the stylized, elongated brown-skinned people and the gray-and-black birds to produce richness and depth. The art conveys action and feeling through body pose and facial expression, and the m‚lange of brilliant colors deepens the emotional response. The image of Jawanza climbing the red stairs to the roof and another of a black bird on a stark white background, flying above its shadow, are particularly arresting. A soaring accomplishment.

Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Myers revisits the theme of flight he explored in his mythically inspired Wings, this time with a more earthbound lesson in friendship. As a lone boy sits high atop his apartment building, he observes "a twisting river of birds flying patterns above my house." An emerald-green background emphasizes the boy's downcast expression; the darkness seems to weigh upon him, despite his sunny yellow shirt. The artist then shifts the perspective from the exterior view of the window to the shadowy interior of the apartment the flying pigeons outside the window dominate the vignettes. As the boy voices his frustration at being trapped inside, he yells at the pigeons, until a voice comes from the rooftop "like grits and gravy rains through the window." The voice belongs to the birds' keeper, an older man dressed in white "his skin is dark brown, the color of church wood, and sharp at the edges." He becomes the boy's unlikely instructor in the ways of friendship. As the boy ascends the stairs to the roof, his very clothing reflects the inevitable transition he undergoes: his magenta pants blend with the stairwell, while the patch of sunlight at the summit matches his T-shirt. With the man's guidance, the inscrutable patterns of the birds make sense to the boy. Just as readers learn most effectively from Myers's nonverbal cues here, the boy, too, learns to bond with the man in white, and with his birds, through observation rather than words. All ages.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9780786823734: Fly!

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ISBN 10:  0786823739 ISBN 13:  9780786823734
Publisher: Jump At The Sun, 2001
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