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Flyaway Katie
     

Flyaway Katie

by Polly Dunbar
 
Whoosh! Strange and wonderful things happen when a little girl lets her creativity fly in this buoyant picture-book debut.

It’s a gray, gray day when Katie decides to liven herself up. After all, the birds in the picture on her wall look a lot more exciting than she does, and much happier, too. So Katie puts on her brightest clothing, takes hold of a

Overview

Whoosh! Strange and wonderful things happen when a little girl lets her creativity fly in this buoyant picture-book debut.

It’s a gray, gray day when Katie decides to liven herself up. After all, the birds in the picture on her wall look a lot more exciting than she does, and much happier, too. So Katie puts on her brightest clothing, takes hold of a paintbrush, and lets her imagination take flight. But it’s more than her spirits that end up soaring!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
With minimal text and zesty cartoon art, the captivating heroine of this cheerful debut imagines herself out of a gloomy mood. Stuck inside on a "gray, gray day" with "no one to talk to except herself," Katie initially looks gray, too. She quickly decides "the picture on [her] wall look[s] like a much better place to be," and announces, "I need some color." Dunbar's mixed-media illustrations gradually transform the gray scene as Katie dons a green hat, yellow tights, blue shoes, etc. (kids learning color concepts will be tickled pink). She even paints her face blue and her arms with orange stripes until she gradually resembles the birds in the painting. With the words "a flittery/ fluttery/ flighty/ fizzling!/ Whoosh!" accompanying five pages of accelerating, fireworks-like bursts of colors, Katie flies into the picture on the wall and plays with the birds, "until it [is] time to fly home for her bath!" Dunbar keeps the text streamlined and simple, adding Katie's reactions in speech bubbles throughout. When the heroine introduces herself to the birds ("Hello, I'm Katie!"), each bird amusingly answers with the same single bird word: "Tweet." The magical makeover, a literal flight of fancy, will make readers' spirits soar, too. Ages 2-5. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
On a gray, gray day, Katie cheers herself up by putting on a green hat, yellow tights and a pink dress. When that is not enough to brighten her day, she paints orange stripes on her arms and purple tips on her fingers. When she is as colorful to look at as an exotic bird, she feels colorful too. So she flies away, right into the fizzy picture on the wall. Although this book offers young children a gentle solution to coping with sadness, its lackluster illustrations may not do the trick for all youngsters. The ending, which requires a sudden shift into the imaginary, is somewhat jarring and may actually have a disturbing effect on some readers. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Moira Rose Donohue
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Young Katie, who is "feeling gray," gazes at a colorful painting on the wall and decides that it looks "like a much better place to be." To cheer herself up, she puts on bright clothing, starting with a green hat, then yellow tights, blue shoes, and a pink dress. The more color she adds, the bigger her smile becomes. Next, she puts on red lipstick, paints her face blue to match her shoes, and paints orange stripes on her arms. Suddenly, something magical happens. Katie sprouts wings and flies into the painting, where she spends her afternoon frolicking with the colorful birds, until reassuringly, "-it was time to fly home for her bath!" The mixed-media illustrations perfectly capture Katie's transformation from a totally gray-outlined figure to a brightly hued creature with patterned feathers. The action is neatly contained within gray lined rectangles until Katie's transformation, when splashes of color push their way into the cream-colored borders. As she enters the painting, the illustrations become full bleed, conveying a sense of freedom and action. Told at just the right pace, this whimsical story presents a gentle reminder of the power of a child's imagination. The large text and brief sentences invite beginning readers along for the adventure.-Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A joyous cure for a case of the doldrums. Katie is "feeling gray" and she looks it: she's outlined in gray-black lines and filled in with negative white-space that looks especially gray because the pages' other negative spaces are light blue and pale warm yellow. Trying to cheer herself up, she dons a large green hat and bright yellow tights, which she pulls endearingly halfway up her face. Hmm, "not bright enough," she tries more colored clothing, lipstick, and paint on her face (blue) and arms (orange stripes). Suddenly she feels "a flittery fluttery flighty fizzling!" and Katie-amid bursts of splattered color-flies into the painting on her wall, where she spends the afternoon with crazily multicolored birds. No longer literally or emotionally gray, a newly pink-skinned Katie leaps delightedly out of the painting into her bath, paint-colored bathwater splashing everywhere. Exuberant, to say the least. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763623661
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
06/07/2004
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Polly Dunbar has a degree in illustration from the University of Brighton in England. She says, "FLYAWAY KATIE is about the ability we all have to change our mood and make ourselves feel happier. All you need is a bit of creativity and a lick of paint! I certainly feel much brighter when I put on my best blue shoes." Polly Dunbar lives and works in London. This is her first picture book.

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