Fun for a boy and his grandfather blows in on the winds of a brewing storm.
The fourth in this series of picture books about a boy and his grandfather (Sun, 2018, etc.) once again finds them outside enjoying nature, inspired this time to fly a kite in the blustery wind. Before they head outdoors, they must search the house to find a kite, however. In their searching they come across several things that remind them of prior adventures. This trip down Memory Lane establishes a foundation for their fun flying the kite, which gently tips the story into the realm of fantasy when they and other kite-fliers are lifted into a sky filled with kites of varied colors, patterns, and forms. “We swooped and flew. But then I let go!” exclaims the young narrator at the story’s climax. Luckily, Granddad saves the kite, and then they sail back home on the wind before the storm descends. Throughout, Usher’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations adopt a style similar to Quentin Blake’s, and his shifting use of color, light, and shadow evokes excitement, peril, and finally the safety and security of the kitchen with the storm raging outside. It’s a gentle home-away-home story tied up with a cozy message delivered by Granddad at the end: “The best adventure is an adventure shared.” Both characters present white.
It follows, perhaps, that the best picture books are those, like this, that beg to be shared, as well. (Picture book. 3-7)