A nearly wordless graphic picture book illustrates the angst of a fledgling whose parent is determined to see it take its first flight.
The double-page spread encompassing the title page shows a small, comical bird sitting in a nest of twigs, dubiously eyeing a larger bird who flies above it with a facial expression of avian bliss. There follows a series of panels that show long-distance views of the larger bird gracefully landing in the nest occupied by, apparently, its progeny. The next double-page spread shows a single aerial view, with the little bird gazing far down to the earth. On the ensuing pages, the little bird exhibits high anxiety and clings to its parent with a large speech bubble that proclaims the titular “NOPE!” Over the course of the book, the little one—through pastel-tinged images in thought bubbles—imagines all the possible terrors it may encounter venturing from the nest, while its parent continues to encourage it to leave. There are occasional sound-effect words, such as “shake” and “flap,” and there is a full page of “no” in several different languages. Most of the story is told exclusively with the funny facial expressions and body language of two birds at cross purposes. The simple message is clear, and the humorous animals are foregrounded against pretty green and blue watercolor settings. Naturally, “nope” eventually changes to “yep.”
Full of humor and action, with easily recognizable emotions. (Picture book. 4-6)