Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fly High Fly Low

Fly High, Fly Low
Don Freeman ~ The Viking Press, 1957

How is it that when you and your husband are sick, your child will find every opportunity to ask you to read a book and then some? Had gotten this title from Santa, but yesterday was the first - ahem - three readings, and I have to say I like it a lot. It's about a pigeon and a dove who make their home in the letter B of the Bay Hotel sign in San Fransisco. The illustrations are just gorgeous, and you can tell Mr. Freeman must have really thought the city beautiful. The curls of China Town... the arch of the Bay Bridge, the trolley cars and skyline..

The pigeons who roosted along the ledges of the building across the
street thought he was a pretty persnickety pigeon to live where he did.
"He's too choosy! He's too choosy!" they would coo.

The only one who never made fun of him was a white-feathered
dove. She felt sure he must have a good reason for wanting
to live in that letter.

I find the bulk of Mr. Freeman's books to have very simple and rough illustrations, but these are fully-fleshed out and lush, almost like landscape paintings. It has the same-ish theme that a decade later PD Eastman would use in My Nest is Best.

Also by:
Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library
Space Witch
Mop Top
The Guard Mouse

1 comment:

Keith said...

I just wanted to add my "two cents" to your description of "Fly high..." I work at a university library in Michigan, and we received a large number of juvie books which may necessitate a bit of weeding of our juv collection. I explained to our juv/media center librarian how she was not, under any circumstances, to weed "Fly high...". I was kidding around with her (a bit :)) but I got to explain to her how beautiful the artwork was in Freeman's illustrations, and how it made a midwestern kid want to visit San Francisco someday; and what more can you want from a children's book than that?
Best wishes! Keith Greising, Olson Library, Northern Michigan University.

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