Friday, June 14, 2019

ReadItDaddy's Picture Book of the Week - Week ending 14th June 2019: "Paper Planes" by Jim Helmore and Richard Jones (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

Ever had one of those friendships that you thought would last forever? Or one of those summers that seemed to stretch on for ages, every day bringing some new adventure or amazing thing - to be enjoyed with someone really special?

In "Paper Planes" by Jim Helmore and Richard Jones, you'll find the gorgeously lyrical and beautifully told story of two such friends, Mia and Ben.

They're neighbours, living on the shores of a huge lake, and having the most amazing time together as they sail and swim. But their favourite hobby is making paper planes.

They have a grand project in mind - to build a plane that's big enough and strong enough to fly right over the lake. But before they can put their grand design into action, the two friends are separated as one moves away.

At first Ben reacts badly, smashing the plane they were working on together. But then Ben realises that there are other things you can do with paper - like write a letter that really needs to be written...

This is beautifully told. Though we've seen so many books talking about kids and their friendships, this is the first one that's actually felt quite genuinely touching and affecting, particularly in the way the story shows kids how to deal with their bestie moving away. Richard's illustrations are gorgeous too sweeping you into that lakeside world with ease, then up into the air as Mia and Ben's plane takes flight finally.

Sum this book up in a sentence: Lovely, absolutely lovely, and not just your usual "kids book about friendship" - this one's genuinely moving and affecting.

"Paper Planes" by Jim Helmore and Richard Jones is out now, published by Simon and Schuster Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).