Skywriter

Overview

A SOARING FLIGHT OF FANCY

lands one boy at the realization that outgrowing your toys doesn’t necessarily mean outgrowing your imagination.Grown-up Charles dreams of a plane that forms letters in the air, taking him to “fabulous lands where warm breezes blew, and everything shone with diamond light.” Why not? For in the world of his childhood anything was possible. Dreamlike paintings chronicle this journey into a young boy’s mind as misty colors drift into one another and toys ...

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Nolan, Dennis Brookfield, Connecticut, U.S.A. 2008 Hard Cover New 11 1/2 x 9. First Edition. First printing. Pictorial hardcover. When a boy plays with his favoirite toys, ... little figures of a soldier, a baker, and an airplane man, they talk to him and take him on adventures. But they fall silent when he grows older. Why? Read more Show Less

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Overview

A SOARING FLIGHT OF FANCY

lands one boy at the realization that outgrowing your toys doesn’t necessarily mean outgrowing your imagination.Grown-up Charles dreams of a plane that forms letters in the air, taking him to “fabulous lands where warm breezes blew, and everything shone with diamond light.” Why not? For in the world of his childhood anything was possible. Dreamlike paintings chronicle this journey into a young boy’s mind as misty colors drift into one another and toys spring to action as reality blends with fantasy, and the past with the present.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

When does a child lose faith in make-believe? How does the power of imagination fade? Haseley (Twenty Heartbeats) and Nolan (The Castle Builder) explore these questions in their quiet tale of a boy's evolving relationship with his toy airplane and the dollhouse figures that fly it. As Charles grows older, the voices of his toys grow fainter, until one day he can no longer hear them and throws away the playthings. But their hold on his imagination remains, and he rescues them from the trash to pass on to his soon-to-be-born brother. The toys speak among themselves when alone on the page, lending a subtle truth to Charles's pretend. Especially effective are the occasional intersections of imagination and reality-an airplane in the sky dips its wings in farewell when Charles can no longer hear his toys speak. Haseley's poetic, restrained language pairs well with Nolan's representational illustrations, which are softened by a mixed-color sepia wash. The sensibility and scope, however, may be too adult; children may find the paucity of action combined with the muted illustrations less than compelling. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

With dreamlike images and believable text, this picture book takes readers into an imaginative world and encourages them to reminisce about their favorite toys and make-believe adventures. The story opens as a young boy plays with a dollhouse and its accompanying figures-a baker, a soldier, and an airplane man. They talk to him and take him on fantastic pretend journeys. Time passes, and the dolls are mostly forgotten, but when Charles and his sister must clean up their playroom for a new brother, they are reminded of the time when they would hear the toys' voices and they wonder why, as they grew up, the voices stopped. Ultimately, Charles rescues these favorite items from the trash can, and the final page shows his baby brother playing with them. Depicting realistic-looking characters and just a touch of fantasy, Nolan's watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are descriptive and comforting.-Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT

Kirkus Reviews
There is something that tugs at the heart in this softly illustrated, quietly told story. A sensitive child who is aware of the transience of youth and the passage of time, and who believes in the possibility of magic that manifests itself in toys that speak, may savor this book. A young boy, Charles, and his older sister, both outgrow playing with the tiny figures of a pilot, a soldier and a baker who go for rides in a small single-engine plane. At one time, the toys told the children "wonderful things," but then "they stopped." Now, the children need to clear their playroom to make way for a new baby. Old, worn, broken toys are taken to the trash, but Charles dreams about the plane tipping its wings to say goodbye and in the morning rescues plane and figures. Nolan's quiet, textured illustrations give toys and children enormous personality, beautifully complementing the matter-of-fact narration that gives voice to the playthings. Both combine in an understatement that defies the saccharine but instead honors childish imaginations. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596432529
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/16/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.65 (w) x 8.33 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

DENNIS HASELEY has written many books for children, including THE INVISIBLE MOOSE, A STORY FOR BEAR, and KITE FLIER. His most recent work is TWENTY HEARTBEATS (Roaring Brook, Spring 08). He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

DENNIS NOLAN is an award-winning author and illustrator who has written and/or illustrated numerous works, including his first Golden Kite Honor Book, DINOSAUR DREAM (also a season’s choice in both Newsweek and The New Yorker), and whose artwork has been exhibited around the country. He lives near Northampton, Massachusetts.

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