Kirkus Reviews QR Code
FLYING LESSONS by Gilbert Ford


by Gilbert Ford and illustrated by Gilbert Ford

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 16th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1997-5
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

In this oddball solo debut, a migratory flock of doves gives a too-big, too-noisy jetliner hoping to be a fellow traveler a hostile reception. In Ford’s heavy-lined cartoon pictures the interloper’s smiling face changes to tearful dejection after disastrous encounters with a birdbath and a nestful of eggs prompt the doves to squawk “Go fly with your own kind!” Fortunately, the jet is willing to let bygones be bygones, and when a sudden cold snap grounds the feathered birds, the metal one returns to offer comfy window seats for the flight South. Having been shown “a new way to fly,” the doves “saw things differently than they had before.” As seen in comparison to the pigeons, the jet’s too small to let the size disparity reach its full absurd potential—for better examples, see Valeri Gorbachev’s Big Little Elephant (2005) or Mac Barnett’s Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, illustrated by Adam Rex (2009)—and its motivations remain murky, but readers shouldn’t have much trouble figuring out what those aforesaid “things” might be. (Picture book. 6-8)