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MEL FELL

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 1 week, 2 days ago

7 October 2021 MEL FELL by Corey R. Tabor, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, February 2021, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-287801-4

 

“There you stood on the edge of your feather

Expecting to fly

While I laughed, I wondered whether

I could wave goodbye”

– Neil Young (1967)

 

In what circumstances did you necessarily spread your wings as a young child. For me, two particularly nerve-wracking incidents that come to mind were learning to swim, and getting on the little bus for the first day of nursery school. 

 

We all face pivotal moments when we necessarily take developmental steps toward independence and growing up. 

 

MEL FELL is a lighthearted picture book about a young female kingfisher chick who decides that it is time to leave the nest and learn to fly.

 

“The squirrels tried to catch her. They really did. They’d grown quite fond of those squeaky little chirpers upstairs.

(Blast!) (Nuts!) (Oof!) (Aieeeeeee!)

But it was no use. They missed her by a whisker.

 

‘Zzeezill zzayzzoo!’* said the bees. But they barely slowed her down.

(*”We will save you!)

 

Even the spider lent a hand. (Eight of them.)”

 

Everybody tries to lend a hand when Mel deliberately plummets from the hole high in the tree where she and her sibs have been raised.

 

MEL FELL is an innovatively-designed picture book that is designed to be held with the spine at top. The pages are turned from bottom to top as the young bird descends and splashes into the pond below. Then, after impressively catching a fish underwater, the book is turned 180 degrees (so the bottom becomes the top) as the jubilant youngster begins flying back up to the nest. All of the critters who tried to save her are now whooping it up in celebration of Mel’s achievement.

 

There’s a thoroughly happy ending–at least in my book–as the fish escapes lunchtime when Mel proudly boasts to Mom that,

 

“‘I flew, I flew!’ said Mel.

(‘I’m flying! I’m flying!’) [chortles the falling fish]

‘I knew you could,’ said Mama.

‘I knew I could, too,’ said Mel.”

 

MEL FELL is a stellar book for sharing fears of the next steps we need to take on our road to becoming big boys and girls. Like in the real world, Mel’s adventure is also a lot of fun!

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

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