Fly Free!

Overview


When you do a good deed, it will come back to you. Mai loves feeding the caged birds near the temple but dreams that one day she'll see them fly free. Then she meets Thu and shares the joy of feeding the birds with her. This sets a chain of good deeds in motion that radiates throughout her village and beyond. Set in Vietnam, Roseanne Thong's inspiring story, an Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association Honor Book, is elegantly illustrated with watercolor on wood by ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$13.93
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $2.95   
  • New (3) from $10.32   
  • Used (3) from $2.95   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview


When you do a good deed, it will come back to you. Mai loves feeding the caged birds near the temple but dreams that one day she'll see them fly free. Then she meets Thu and shares the joy of feeding the birds with her. This sets a chain of good deeds in motion that radiates throughout her village and beyond. Set in Vietnam, Roseanne Thong's inspiring story, an Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association Honor Book, is elegantly illustrated with watercolor on wood by Eujin Kim Neilan.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—A Vietnamese girl feeds caged birds outside a Buddhist temple, beginning a cycle of good deeds continued by the townspeople, including a girl who gives away her red-velvet shoes, before circling back to the birds. Although written to illustrate the Buddhist philosophy of karma, the lesson of this simple story, that helping others is helpful to you, is universal. The muted and warm watercolor-on-board illustrations glow with gold, orange, red, and brown tones, although the girls' unnaturally pink cheeks and lips give them a jarringly clownish look. One of the characters is a monk but the only explicit religious message is found in an author's note that explains karma, nirvana, and samsara (the wheel of life). The arresting cover illustration of a child holding her hands in the air as birds fly into the distance foreshadows the story's conclusion. That dramatic image will immediately engage readers in wondering how the birds will be freed. The slight story serves primarily as a framework for the lesson but the approach is gentle and nonjudgmental.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Publishers Weekly
“Fly free, fly free, in the sky so blue. When you do a good deed, it will come back to you!” sing the Vietnamese characters in Thong’s (Wish) story, as each does something to help the next. Mai wants to release a cageful of birds at the birdseller’s—a traditional Buddhist good deed—but she doesn’t have the money. She leaves water for the oxcart driver, who gives a stranger a ride, who repays the driver with a cake, and so on, until Mai’s birds are freed by another good deed. Neilan (Imagine a Dragon) applies luminous colors to wood with a heavy horizontal grain, creating cloud-streaked skies, rice fields, and mist-shrouded lakes. The tranquil landscapes give appropriate calm to a story about karma, the idea that good deeds accumulate and affect one’s rebirth in the next life. Neilan’s characters look best in profile; in head-on views, their features sometimes appear squashed or lopsided. Still, it’s a useful introduction to Southeast Asia, an explanation of the Buddhist concept of karma (an explanatory note appears in back), and a neat moral tale about paying it forward. Ages 7–9. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Young Mai feeds the sparrows in a cage at the Buddhist temple in Vietnam. Setting them free would be a good deed, but she has no money. She invites another girl named Thu to help her, repeating the song, "Fly free, fly free,/ in the sky so blue./ When you do a good deed,/ it will come back to you." On her way home, Thu gives her slippers to a girl who has cut her foot, repeating the "Fly free…" The grateful girl in turn gives fresh water to a weary cart driver. He hears her "Fly free..." song. He gives a ride in his cart to an old woman. The next morning she gives some rice to a passing monk, whose thanks blend in with the song. He then cures a sick boy. The boy's father, going to the temple to give thanks, sees Mai feeding the birds and singing her song. Seeing how good deeds are passed along, he pays so the sparrows can "fly free." Neilan uses watercolors to depict quiet landscapes and more intimate scenes, applying them like stains on raw boards. The wood grain becomes a unifying factor, a subtle horizontal texture, perhaps a visual representation of the Buddhist belief in the one-ness of all living things. The costumes and scenery have an ageless but Asian character. The author adds a background note. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
At the gates of the Buddhist temple, Mai sees a cage full of sparrows for sale. Without the money to buy and release them, she offers to feed them. Thu, another little girl, helps and takes heed of Mai's whispered "Fly, free, fly free, / in the sky so blue. / When you do a good deed, / it will come back to you." Thu later gives her beautiful red slippers to another little girl with a cut foot. The "wheel of kindness" continues to turn, with various characters doing something good for someone else until a father, grateful that his son has recovered from illness, approaches the temple to pray, sees and purchases the cage and, to Mai's joy, sets the sparrows free. Buddhist tradition and belief in reincarnation reflects the idea that one's actions, good or bad, affect one's rebirth. The smoothly written circular narrative with its reverent message is authenticated by Neilan's muted watercolors, which are rendered on light tan board and softly depict a Vietnamese countryside peopled by folk wearing conical hats and traditional dress. (Picture book/religion. 4-7)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590785508
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 486,601
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Roseanne Thong is the award-winning author of many children's books, including Wish, Red Is a Dragon, and Round is a Mooncake. She lives in Southern California.

Eujin Kim Neilan is the illustrator of Imagine a Dragon by Laurence Pringle. The Best Winds by Laura E. Williams, and The Rabbit and the Dragon King and In the Moonlight Mist: A Korean Tale, both retold by Daniel San Souci. Born in Korea, she lives in Natick, Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)