Following Touch the Earth (2017), young readers are invited to fly on further missions of mercy to our beleaguered planet and its residents.
A feather converts with a tap on the image of a button in the right-hand corner of the spread and a page turn to a White Feather Flier (named after Lennon’s charitable White Feather Foundation) that transports, in Coh’s misty, painted pictures, a thoroughly diverse quartet of children to a variety of troubled places. They visit in succession a town whose residents lack medical services, a bleached coral reef, a drab urban neighborhood, and a clear-cut rainforest. At every stop, further taps on a button image bring instant relief: The Flier becomes a mobile hospital; “zooks” (zooxanthellae, depicted as tiny green cells with smiley faces) return to give the reef color and life; the city gets a new green space; and the devastated forest’s flora and fauna are restored to lush life. Following vague exhortations to “work together” and to “make healing an adventure,” Lennon concludes with six solo-credited stanzas of similarly airy sentiment: “Come together, see it through, / End disease and hunger too. / Help the children, one and all. / Winter, Summer, Spring, and Fall.” Thoughtfully, the humans in need are depicted as diverse and not uniformly brown; slightly less thoughtfully, one of the two brown-skinned children among the helpers is depicted with knotted hair that recalls the pickaninny stereotype.
Relentlessly facile—but if action ever begins with goal visualization, at least a place to start. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-7)