This wordless picture book invites readers to make meaning of its mysterious characters’ flights.
Golden endpapers match the colorful birds that fly about the face of a girl rendered in muted grayscale tones on the jacket art, as well as the single yellow bird that flies on the frontmatter page preceding the title page. From this point on, black, white, and grays dominate the dreamlike spreads. At first, stunning portraits of the girl with an aviator’s cap occupy the recto pages while facing versos are illustrated with pictures of birds in flight. These slowly zoom in on a single bird, which begins to shift its shape into the human form of a little boy. Meanwhile, the pictures of the girl zoom out to reveal that her outfit includes a pair of wings. When the bird-turned-boy lands, the girl takes flight, and subsequent turns of the page show her transformation into a bird. A dreamy sense of mystery is reinforced by the image on the back of the jacket, which shows the girl asleep, her flight goggles hanging around her neck and two little yellow birds perched on her hand and shoulder. There isn’t much story here, and it’s not clear which bird or bird-child the title refers to, but there’s ample beauty to behold.
An (av)i(a)nvitation to wonder. (Picture book. 4-7)