Monday, July 8, 2013

Picture Book Monday - A review of What Goes Up

Every so often I decide to start a new project, to take a new direction with my work. Often, in the beginning, I cannot seem to get things to work the way I want them to work. Figuratively speaking, I fall on my face a lot. It is awfully easy to get discouraged at these times and I feel like giving up. From now on, when I have those 'I want to give up' moments, I will pull today's picture book off my shelf. It is the best pick-me-up in book form that I have found, and it always, always puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I think this book should be compulsory reading for everyone.

Paula Bowles
Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
Tiger Tales, 2013, 978-1-58925-119-9
Martin the dragon is sad, and the children in the village, who love Martin, are worried about their scaly friend. When they ask him what is wrong, Martin explains that he wishes he could fly. Unfortunately, his wings are just too small to support his body, and inevitably “What goes up, must come down.”
   Then Martin sees a bumblebee buzz by and he gets a splendid idea. “Stripes must be the key to flying,” he says and he quickly paints some stripes on his body. Alas, stripes are not what Martin needs.
   After Martin sees autumn leaves drift by on the breeze he decides that what he needs to do to fly is to be in a tree. Then he, like the leaves, will be carried off by the wind. After sitting in the tree for quite some time, Martin determines that dragons and leaves do not behave in the same way.
   Martin tries to be fluffy like a cloud, but when he - wrapped in dandelion fluff - leaps into the air, he and his fluff crashes to the ground. Poor Martin is feeling “so low” that the children decide to take him in hand. There must be something that they can do to help their friend.
   Sometimes something we want very badly indeed seems completely out of reach. No matter how hard we try, that coveted something is unattainable. This charming, funny, and delightfully sweet picture book story will remind readers of all ages that one cannot give up hope. With a little help from our friends, we can achieve just about anything our heart desires, even when our wings seem too small for the job.

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