KITE FLIER by Dennis Haseley


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The author of The Old Banjo (Macmillan, 1983) has created a weaker magic in this brief father-and-son story. A wandering stonemason makes and flies beautiful kites (""it was his heart that was flying""), first for his wife, and after she dies for his son. He is resistant to the idea of his son's growing up and leaving home, but accepts it at last; the two construct and release a kite together; thereafter, once a year on a certain day, each separately flies a kite. This is all obviously metaphor. The father seems able to whip up the most elaborate kite in a few moments, in response to some incident or mood, but Wiesner's literal watercolors leave nothing to the imagination; realistic skies, landscapes and people are dominated by swirling, grossly huge kites that force themselves on the reader's attention, and reduce the already slight plot and characters to insignificance. Younger readers are likely to find the symbolism too opaque to hold their interest, though the kites are varied and striking in appearance.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1986
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Four Winds/Macmillan