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*If I Never Forever Endeavor* by Holly Meade
Also written and/or illustrated by Holly Meade:

In the Sea
If I Never Forever Endeavor
by Holly Meade
Ages 3-6 32 pages Candlewick April 2011 Hardcover    

He can barely see over the edge of his nest, but the fledgling in this book is contemplating the next step in his life - flying. Unfortunately, he hesitates because he can imagine a disastrous flight just as easily as he can imagine a successful one.

This songlike story told in rhyme celebrates the bravery we all have within ourselves to triumph over fear. When the bird in this book thinks about flying for the first time, he can envision an embarrassing fall, but when he looks in the sky, he sees what he longs for most, and he is able to gather the courage to “try a little flap, a flutter…or two!”

His initial flight ends abruptly, but with practice his is able to dip and glide through the sky and land safely beside a new friend.

Meade’s illustrative technique (watercolor with linoleum block printing through collage) brings out the details in the nest and trees. The scenery is drawn from an aerial viewpoint, with the yellow bird’s movements accentuated by swishes of white through the sky.

There are some discouraging sound effects in the book (thwack, thud, thump), but overall the narration reminds me of a pep talk. This book has a heartfelt message that should be taught early on in life.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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