A dragonfly worries whether her friends will still like her after she rips a wing in this debut picture book.
Nancy the Dragonfly is well-known for her beauty. She adores her friends Freddy Tree Frog and Little Blue Baron, a bluebird. One day while chasing mosquitos, Nancy flies into the web of Blackie the Widow Spider. Nancy is able to pull free, but her wing tears. She believes that she is no longer lovely, and that her cohorts will not like her anymore, so she hides. Even when her friends call for her, Nancy stays concealed in her misery. But Freddy and Baron aren’t about to give up; they find out from Blackie what happened and they track down Nancy, showing that they will love her no matter what. The moral of Conley’s story—about trusting friends to love you regardless of a physical change—is an uncommon one, and children worried about what happens after an accident, or what their friends will think after they break an arm, may find comfort here. But Nancy never goes through a major transformation: The wing tear is merely a setback, because she has always valued her friends over her own beauty. The dense text, particularly after Nancy’s wing is torn, may puzzle readers who are expecting more illustrations before the book concludes. The uncredited images are cartoonish and fairly simple, with mostly two-dimensional backgrounds.
A forest tale delivers an upbeat message about friendship.