KAITO’S CLOTH by Glenda Millard


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 & up
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Japanese influences in the telling and the pictures notwithstanding, this first U.S. edition of an original tale reads most plainly as metaphor, unlinked to a particular time or place. Winter is coming, but because she wants to see her tattered, treasured butterflies fly one more time young Kaito treks up the Mountain of Dreams to make the request of their creator, the Lord of Flight. By the time she arrives, the butterflies are dead, but the Lord of Flight gently comforts her with the assertion that they have fulfilled their purpose, and that “flight is eternal. It belongs to no one and to everyone.” At this, Kaito stitches wings of her own, stiffens them with bamboo to make a kite and joyfully soars off over the snowy landscape. Chapman gives the measured, poetic text lyrical illustrations, placing the doll-like Kaito and the strange-looking Lord of Flight—part human, part insect, part hummingbird—amid stylized mountains, clouds of butterflies and graceful swirls of wind. Though mannered and probably over the heads of younger children, this isn’t nearly as twee as it sounds, and may provide solace to readers facing their own change or loss. (Picture book. 6+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-24797-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2008