K-Gr 2-James explores a child's yearnings to fly through Kiria, a young girl who catches a leaf that has a long cocoon on its underside and knows that it can lend her the magic she needs. Her resourceful friend Mica offers sensible advice and the two concoct a potion and "flying words." Time is suspended in four wordless pages of Demi magic as the friends soar hand in hand across the sky over trees and town. However, somewhere between Kiria's dawning belief in the possibility of flight and the moment itself, the fragile thread that has fostered this fantasy becomes a bit too heavy. What has been suggestive and playful, an invitation to magic, becomes explicit, tugs too hard, and ties up the action too neatly, and elusive magic flees. James has created a fantasy with moments of grace and promise, which Demi has realized so beautifully in the illustrations. Delicate line drawings harmonize with resplendent watercolors. There are touches of extravagant whimsy and moments of mystery. Her touch is sure and fine, golden threads illuminating the images, spots of gold lighting up the pages, vivid color giving a sense of the possible, of impending, if fleeting, magic.-Susan Powers, Rock Creek Forest Elementary School, Chevy Chase, MD
Demi is the award-winning creator of numerous books for children, including The Empty Pot; Buddha; The Dalai Lama; The Legend of Saint Nicholas; Gandhi, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award; and Muhammad, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice selection, a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection, one of the Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth, and a Book Links “Lasting Connections” selection, and was cited in a Publishers Weekly starred review as a “timely, exceptionally handsome biography [that] serves as an excellent introduction to Islam.” Demi lives in Carnation, Washington.