I'm Flying!

Overview

Illus. in full color. Bored with his suburban life, a boy takes all the things he dislikes—his toothbrush, his mean old cat, even his math teacher—and sends them sailing away with helium balloons. But the fun really begins when he rigs up a lawn chair with enough balloons to launch himself, too.

A little boy floats away on his balloon across mountains, plains, cities, and the sea, until he lands on a desert island.

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Overview

Illus. in full color. Bored with his suburban life, a boy takes all the things he dislikes—his toothbrush, his mean old cat, even his math teacher—and sends them sailing away with helium balloons. But the fun really begins when he rigs up a lawn chair with enough balloons to launch himself, too.

A little boy floats away on his balloon across mountains, plains, cities, and the sea, until he lands on a desert island.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A boy attaches his math book to a helium balloon and watches excitedly as all his problems drift out of sight forever. This pneumatically inspired solution works well in eliminating other sources of disturbance in his life, and many things have disappeared over a period of time, including the boy's pesky dog and cat, his uncomfortable Sunday shoes and even his teacher, Miss Follendorf. The boy's father is suspicious, and asks, ``Where the heck is everything disappearing to?'' One day the boy takes a trip in a lawn chair festooned with 16 balloons and lands on a faraway tropical isle where he observes his teacher doing the hula on the beach. The theme of banishment and its resolution is imaginatively worked out in this quirky, inspired tale. The rather unusual plot and jocular style make this an excellent choice for the older picture book reader. Mathers's colorful paintings have a rustic, almost folk-art charm that translates curiously into a visual sophistication perfectly attuned with the advanced text. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- The gift of weather balloons and the helium to float them up sets a bored suburban boy off on a wacky, wish-fulfilling adventure, reminiscent in some ways of both Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (Harper, 1988) and Yorinks's Hey, Al (Farrar, 1986), but without their power or sense of mystery. Wade's hero first sends ``up and away'' things he hates--math book, Sunday shoes, dog and cat, teacher--until he gets an undeniable urge to travel and floats off himself. Up he goes--through storms, over cities, over flat yellow fields. At last, he sets down on a lush tropical island where--surprise--he finds everything he had sent away. These objects, plus the island's amenities, save him from feeling homesick and provide a very pleasant life (``I decided to stay.''). But when a balloon bearing the message ``Come Home, Son'' arrives, the boy remembers dinner and heads happily for home. The book's quirky humor arises from the complimentary coupling of the deanpan narration and Mathers's flat primitive style. The two-dimensional look and the skewed perspectives reinforce the tone of the text, as if the boy were illustrating the story as he told it. Tongue-in-cheek details in the pictures add visual depth and interest. Fun but not essential. --Linda Boyles, Alachua County Lib . District, Gainesville, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679860198
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Series: Dragonfly Bks.
  • Edition description: Reprinted Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 10.47 (h) x 0.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Petra Mathers was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States as a young woman.  She now lives in Portland, Oregon. Petra is an illustrator first, and a writer second.  While she brews a story of her own on some burner in the back of her mind, she is busy illustrating other people's books.   Petra compares illustrating other people's books to "visiting".  A certain politeness, consideration, and modesty are necessary. She is a self-described "sucker for love" and her stories are always about love -- she finds unsung heroes very endearing, as well as the clumsy, balding, fumbling, shy creatures who are quietly heroic, risking everything for love.  
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