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THE SKY OF NOW by Chaim  Potok


by Chaim Potok & illustrated by Tony Auth

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-86021-5
Publisher: Knopf

Potok (The Tree of Here, 1993, etc.) makes a ponderous foray into bibilotherapy in this longish picture book. Young Brian has a talking ceramic clown named Broomer—a ninth birthday gift from his Uncle Conor, an airline pilot. Brian and this statue discuss many things, including Brian's fear of heights. During visits to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, Brian has genuine anxiety attacks. The arrival of Brian's early tenth birthday gift— a pilot—foretells plans for a big birthday surprise: a ride in a glider piloted by Uncle Conor. Brian, with the help of his imaginary friends, successfully overcomes his fears with the inspiration of a soaring eagle, relishing the moments of flight. Auth's watercolor paintings are flat, cartoonish, and pale, and add little zest to a painfully awkward story, contorted by wise- cracking dialogue and a heavily philosophical denoument. (Picture book. 5-9)