I would like to thank author and illustrator, Lita Judge for sending me this beautiful copy of Flight School. I'm a little behind with my reviews but I'm finally getting around to putting this one up on the blog.
First, look at that cover! I don't know about you, but when I saw the cover I was very eager to read about this keen-eyed, fearless-looking penguin in the illustration. And fearless is the word! From the first page, Judge shows us just how determined he is to defy the odds as flight-less Penguin approaches a group of birds saying, "I was hatched to fly...when do classes start?" And while the flight teacher tries to tell Penguin that penguins don't fly, Penguin keeps up his determination as he attempts a series of comic flying drills to no avail.
Heartbroken, it seems like Penguin will never be able to fly...until, Flamingo has an idea. Presenting Penguin with a collection of feathers fastened to a string, Penguin is set to try again. All suited up with his new feathers, Penguin uses the skills he learned from his flight class. Flap, flap, flap! Up, up, up! "Suddenly Penguin was soaring above the sea and the clouds. Penguin was right. He did have a soul of an eagle." While Penguin may have needed a little help (illustration below), and may have experienced a bit of a crash landing, none of that mattered to Penguin.
For however brief the time, with the help of his bird friends, Penguin had flown! And that was enough for Penguin. He had soared through the sky with the wind and the clouds, just as he had in his dreams. And if Penguin could experience flying, other birds should too! With a clever ending, Judge gives us a final illustration of Penguin arriving at flight school with an Ostrich. For Ostrich "has the soul of a swallow."
A magically entertaining and, should I say, uplifting (pun intended) story, Judge brings us an example of courage and determination that while some might think is aimless in Penguin's case, is on the contrary an enduring example of Penguin setting out to fulfill a dream. And while the fulfillment of the dream may be fleeting, Penguin's determination paid off. He is content.
Thank you again to Lita Judge for sending me a copy!