Eloquent, fanciful text and illustrations that sparkle with clarity combine to perfectly portray a solitary boy’s flight of imagination.
Alone in the schoolyard, the young protagonist sits apart from the others, but he is quite present. “I am here,” he says. Happy to examine the details of the world around him, he is fine—until a piece of paper falls right into his lap, ready to be transformed. He folds the paper into an airplane, which then flies higher and higher, bringing him on a journey above the playground, clouds and sky, then back down to be caught by his schoolmates. The repeated refrain, “I am here,” reinforces the boy’s sense of himself in the world, even though he is alone, and his unique point of view is both distinct and easy to understand. Clean, appealing illustrations are distilled to their essential elements, focusing purely on the boy and allowing viewers to add their own details. In the end, the airplane sails to someone else—perhaps a new friend—who kindly returns it to the boy. This was written with autistic children in mind but encompasses a wider subject; any child who is isolated, introverted or simply self-contained will find something of him- or herself to recognize and appreciate here.Overall, an excellent selection, replete with warmth, originality and the promise of good things to come. (Picture book. 3-7)