PAPER PLANES by Jim Helmore

PAPER PLANES

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Can a friendship survive an overseas move?

This is the story of Mia and Ben, two friends who grew up in side-by-side houses and enjoyed the same hobby: making paper airplanes together. One day, however, Ben’s family must move far away. Losing a friend due to a move can be very challenging, and the ordeal can sometimes feel like a great betrayal. Such is the case for Mia, whose friendship with Ben is tested severely; her feelings volley between hurt and anger, only to be soothed by dreams about meeting Ben again. One day, however, she receives a pleasant surprise in the mail: Ben has built a plane halfway and now seeks her input for completing the remaining half. She happily obliges. In this touching, sparely written story about friendship, author Helmore makes the best out of a difficult and potentially traumatic experience—a separation. While the story, enhanced by Jones’ symbolic, beautifully chalky illustrations, has a bittersweet beginning, it has a positive and uplifting ending. Parents and educators will especially appreciate how the protagonists’ feelings are depicted in a realistic and convincing manner—and the validation that sadness and anger are OK. The book’s inspiring ending makes it a good resource for children experiencing separation issues. Mia has brown skin and black, bobbed hair, and Ben presents white; their shared neighborhood appears to be in rural North America.

A beautiful and sensitive treatment of a common childhood experience. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-68263-161-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Peachtree
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020




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