A ruminating ruminant puts a wolf to work in service of flight.
A sheep longs to be able to look at things as the birds do, “from far away, from up close, or from somewhere in between,” so she engages a wolf friend to help build a flying machine. Skeptical at first, he finally agrees to work on the project. Their first flight fails when the gorgeous wings of the flying machine designed by the wolf prove too fragile. Next, the sheep attaches helium balloons, but birds dive in and pop the balloons. She devises a clever solution, and together, she and the wolf take flight. Belloni’s spare and simple story, translated from the Italian, offers just enough framework for the illustrations, and it has a solemn syntax that allows the humor of the sheep’s ambition to come through. The figures of both sheep and wolf are slightly abstract and somewhat angular, set against a white background—they call to mind the woodland creatures in Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back (2011). Sophisticated yet nicely in balance with the brief text, Trevisan’s art includes patterns that suggest fabric collage, along with blocks of mathematical notation used as decoration on the endpapers and in the sweep of the hill from which the pair takes off.
Lovely bookmaking nicely complements this charming, light-as-a-feather tale of friendship and successful dreaming. (Picture book. 2-6)