Fly Away Home

Family.  Check.  Planes.  Check.  Homelessness.  Huh? 

*I never knew just how many people lived in the airport until I read this -- by my count there were at least eleven in here --  
*Had I looked at the cover more closely, I would have noticed the depressed look on the face of the dad and might have known to stay the heck away -- I guess we have to give illustrator Ronald Himler credit for that
*Does have a positive message at the very end about never giving up and believing your situation will get better no matter how dire it may be

*I thought I was getting a story about planes and airports (what kid doesn't like those things); instead I got a large heaping of sadness and shock 
*Let's compound the overall horrid quotient by having the dad (who, in fairness, parents the best he can given his means) leave his boy with other homeless people while he goes to work 
*With the changes instituted at airports since 2001, the whole premise will make less sense to children of today's generation when compared with the kids of 1991 (when this was written)

You have GOT to be kidding me!  Why would anyone want to plop their kids on the couch and read a tale about a family that calls an airport home?  If I want my son to understand that not everyone leads a comfortable life, I'll be the one to bring that up with him when it is relevant to do so, thank you very much.  I don't need Eve Bunting's neatly wrapped diatribe on the destitute to do it for me.  It appears that this wasn't the only time Bunting and Himler delivered a manuscript of maudlin, either (the inside cover touts The Wall, a book about dead grandpas and Vietnam -- you know, typical pre-K stuff).  In fact, the author's Wikipedia entry makes it pretty clear that this European-born lady focuses almost exclusively on gritty subjects.  I suppose there's a place for that in library of a young adult, but in a picture book aimed at tots well under nine?  No way.  In fact, if I was still physically Destroying books like I used to in 2010, I would take the copy I am holding right now straight to Reagan National (DCA), walk into the old terminal, find the worst bathroom, and hide it in there somewhere.  Only seems fitting...

Buy / Borrow / Donate / DESTROY


Perogyo said...

I'm not a big fan of destroying books (especially in English, too much of a commodity here!) but that is one interesting fantasy destruction sequence.

mysteryguy said...

Thank you. Thank you very much!!!