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Zephyr Takes Flight

Overview

Soar along on a clever girl’s flight of fancy in a whimsical ode to free spirits, inventiveness, and flying pigs.

Zephyr is a girl who loves airplanes. She draws pictures of them, makes them out of paper, builds them out of junk, and hopes one day to fly one of her own. But when Gramma, Daddy, and Mom are too busy to play airplane with her, Zephyr’s excess enthusiasm gets her sent to her room — where she discovers a secret door that leads to the most wondrous place she’s ever ...

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Overview

Soar along on a clever girl’s flight of fancy in a whimsical ode to free spirits, inventiveness, and flying pigs.

Zephyr is a girl who loves airplanes. She draws pictures of them, makes them out of paper, builds them out of junk, and hopes one day to fly one of her own. But when Gramma, Daddy, and Mom are too busy to play airplane with her, Zephyr’s excess enthusiasm gets her sent to her room — where she discovers a secret door that leads to the most wondrous place she’s ever seen! Lovers of flying machines and gadgets, along with adventurers of all kinds, will be buoyed by this lighthearted tale of a little girl who finds her wings.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Light (The Christmas Giant) taps into the allure of flying, the charm of old gadgets, and the joy of secret spaces in his lighter-than-air fantasy. Zephyr, who’s always wanted to fly, discovers a door in her house that leads to a room filled with flying machines. Taking off in an improbable steampunk contraption, she tries tricks she’s only dreamed about—“Her triple loop-de-loop spectacular was much more fun in the sky!” Sputtering to an emergency landing in a strange country, she uses her flying acumen to assist the piglet Rumbus, the only one in his winged pig clan who can’t fly. A loose line and cheerful, Bemelmans-style figures give fizz to the spreads and panels, which also benefit from big swirly strokes that indicate movement and flight, as well as sepia tints that give the panels vintage warmth. Although indications point to the stable of antique flying machines and the country Zephyr finds existing only in her mind, it’s that very imagination—along with the girl’s energy and generosity—that sustains the story. Ages 4–7. Agent: Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Young Zephyr loves airplanes; she draws them, constructs them, and hopes to fly one someday. No one pays attention to her efforts, but when her zooming around crashes, she is sent to her room. There behind her dresser she discovers a door leading to a fantastic place filled with books about flying and the machines themselves. She builds a plane and flies it out, making spectacular loop-de-loops. But then her engine fails, and she lands in a strange place, with flying pigs! One little pig cannot fly, so Zephyr fits him with wings so he can fly with his family. Missing hers, Zephyr uses the help of the flying pigs to get home in time for a "...triple-hug, triple-pancake spectacular!" Using active pen and ink lines colored with pastels and colored pencils, Light introduces Zephyr on the jacket/cover, piloting an inventive airship. The end pages reinforce her flying addiction with layers of sketches of maps and fantastic flying machines. Sequences of rectangles and double-page scenes are visualized with light-hearted, cartoon-y verve. The expression: "when pigs fly" is given added meaning here. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Zephyr loves everything about airplanes. She loves to make them out of junk, she loves drawing pictures of them, she loves playing with them, and one day she hopes to fly one of her very own. Throughout the book, the child tries to get her grandma, father, and mother to play with her and her creations, but they are all too busy. This leads her to play, quite rambunctiously, on her own and make a giant mess. Zephyr is sent to her room as punishment and discovers a secret passage to a remarkable land filled with airplanes. From there her fantastical flight begins. Light's story is engaging, but the true star of this book is the art showing Zephyr's sadness or determination. Another aspect of the book that really stands out is its take on gender roles. In addition to it being a girl who is fascinated by airplanes, Zephyr's father is in the kitchen cooking, wearing an apron, and her mother is in a woodshop creating footstools. The combination of a strong-willed girl and imaginative art that soars makes this one a worthy choice.—Lora Van Marel, Orland Park Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Zephyr, a buoyant, gum-chewing lass obsessed with airplanes, achieves a fantastical flight--and gets home in time for breakfast--in this enjoyable romp. Grandma, Daddy and Mom are all too busy to play. Executing her "triple loop-de-loop spectacular" off the couch with her toy plane, she crashes into a cabinet full of bric-a-brac. Banished to her room, she sends a paper airplane behind her dresser. There, she discovers a small door leading into a "wondrous place" full of flying machines and propellers and with a desk full of books and maps. Climbing aboard the "FS Bessie" (Light's nod to pioneering flyer Bessie Coleman), Zephyr's off. "Her triple loop-de-loop spectacular was much more fun in the sky!" Ensuing spreads depict a harmless "BUMP" into a mountainous land where flying pigs dwell in trees. After the dexterous girl fashions paper wings for a flightless piglet, the porcine fliers help power her craft back into the sky. Light's fountain pens produce boldly inked contours and appealingly frenetic gestural line. Colored pencils and PanPastels in sienna, ochre and yellow effect a mood both sunny and old-timey. Observant readers will note images of Zephyr's aviator grandfather throughout--clearly, her zeal for flight is inherited. (Flying pigs are a favored collectible in her family, too.) Zipping from fanciful flight to a "triple-hug, triple-pancake spectacular," Zephyr's surely not earthbound for long. Flighty fun. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763656959
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 801,442
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Light
Steve Light is the author-illustrator of many books for children, including The Christmas Giant. He lives in New York City.
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