As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies

by Elizabeth Winthrop, Joan Sandin
     
 

Michael's parents are divorced. Michael lives in Arizona with his mom. His dad lives in Delaware, seven states away as the crow flies. Sometimes when Michael's with his mother, he misses his dad, and when he's with his father, he misses his mom. Michael is sick of missing people. When Michael's dad comes to visit, the two of them stay in a motel and eat out in… See more details below

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Overview

Michael's parents are divorced. Michael lives in Arizona with his mom. His dad lives in Delaware, seven states away as the crow flies. Sometimes when Michael's with his mother, he misses his dad, and when he's with his father, he misses his mom. Michael is sick of missing people. When Michael's dad comes to visit, the two of them stay in a motel and eat out in restaurants. Michael takes his father to school where they read books and make music together. And Michael learns things about his dad that he never knew before. Expressive illustrations accompany a sensitively written story about a young boy who comes to realize that distance does not diminish the special bond between father and son.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Michael's parents are divorced. Michael lives in Arizona with his mother. His father lives in Delaware. When Michael asks his father, "How far away are you?" his father says, "Seven states as the crow flies, two seconds as the heart beats." So begins this story of Michael and his father, and the loving relationship they share in spite of divorce and distance. When Michael is with his mother, he misses his dad. When he is with his father, he misses his mom. He is tired of missing people he loves. Once a year, Michael's father comes to Arizona to visit. The two of them stay in a motel, eat out at restaurants and share puzzles, games, books and memories. And Michael learns some things about his dad that he never knew before. Told in simple and unsentimental language, this is a deeply touching story that both parents and children will want to read again and again. The illustrations, done in watercolor and pencil, eloquently express the beauty in everyday experiences, when shared with those we love.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Arizona and Delaware are 2000 miles apart, "seven states as the crow flies." The distance is difficult for second-grader Michael, who lives in Arizona with his mother while his father lives in Delaware and visits one week of the year. Here, he describes that special week in detail-staying in a motel, eating in a different restaurant every night, and phoning his mother, whom he misses. Both parents come across as caring, sensitive, and supportive, but that doesn't keep Michael from being "sick of missing people." The author captures a boy's-eye view of the excitement of the visit and the warmth of the father-son relationship without downplaying the pain of divorce. Although there is no easy resolution offered, along with the pain there is also a sense of hope. The text is carefully placed on each page, with varied layouts that pull the eye from left to right. Realistic watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are strong on composition and reflect warm details of everyday life, although some of the human figures appear somewhat stiff. This is a worthwhile, up-to-date addition to the body of books on divorce for young children. It validates the difficulty of the situation, yet offers warm reassurance that though a parent may be far away, the distance is only "two seconds as the heart beats."Faith Brautigan, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Kirkus Reviews
From Winthrop (The Little Humpbacked Horse, 1997, etc.), a look at joint custody through the eyes of second-grader Michael, who talks to his father in Delaware via cordless phone while riding his bike in front of his Arizona home, where he lives with his mother. The big day arrives when Michael's father shows up in a rental car for his annual one-week visit. The pair pal around, share a motel room, hike in the park, play rainy-day games, and do homework together. Michael acknowledges that even while he is enjoying his father's presence, he misses his mother, friend Jake, and pet turtle, B.J. Once the week is over, Michael's spirits are lifted by the news that he is old enough to fly "two thousand miles as the crow flies" to visit his father come summer. Sandin's realistic watercolor illustrations emphasize the facial expressions of father and son to reflect their warm relationship. A poignant book that takes an upbeat approach to an inherently bad (from a child's perspective) situation. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395776124
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/01/1998
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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