The Year We Learned to Fly/El año en que aprendimos a volar by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Rafael López

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my GoFundMe page and helped me to raise the money to pay my annual WordPress fees. I’m starting 2022 with an optimistic book for the new year. Tomorrow I’ll kick off a week of Black history books to give you a head start on Black History Month in February.

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

The Year We Learned to Fly - Kindle edition by Woodson, Jacqueline, López,  Rafael. Children Kindle eBooks @
El año en que aprendimos a volar (Spanish Edition) - Kindle edition by  Woodson, Jacqueline, López, Rafael, Canetti, Yanitzia. Children Kindle  eBooks @
The Year We Learned to Fly: Woodson, Jacqueline, López, Rafael:  9780399545535: Books

Summary:  From the team that brought you The Day You Begin comes this picture book about a brother and sister going through a difficult year.  There’s boredom in the spring when the weather keeps them inside, sibling fights in the summer, loneliness in autumn, and finally, a move away from the familiar neighborhood in winter.  Each season, their grandmother reminds them, “Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath.”  When they do, the two children are able to fly, looking down on their city and letting go of their difficult feelings.  In their new house, other kids are initially unfriendly, but when they see the two who can fly, they close their eyes, take a deep breath, and join them.  Includes an author’s note acknowledging Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly: Black American Folktales as her inspiration for this story.  Available in English and Spanish. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  I probably shouldn’t start predicting the 2023 Caldecott the day before the 2022 awards will be announced, but I do love Rafael López’s beautiful illustrations that perfectly complement the intriguing, poetic text by Jacqueline Woodson.

Cons:  Don’t hurry through the story; there’s a lot to unpack in both the text and the illustrations.

January 23, 2022 at 05:37PM Janet Dawson