FICTION

Farther

illus. by author. 40p. Candlewick/Templar. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6370-4. LC 2012942376.
COPY ISBN
Gr 3–5—The narrator reminisces about his father's dream to make a flying machine. The man works ceaselessly on the project without success, stopping to play with his son only when the longing to "claim the sky" abates periodically. That longing is silenced forever, however, when the father goes off to war and never returns. Years pass, and the son "[takes] up the old wings" left by his father and does succeed, soaring into the "vast blue sky" where he feels his father's presence. Eventually, he shares his dream with his own son. The digitally rendered illustrations offer great variety as they enrich the brief text. There are single pages and spreads, framed half sheets, and snapshotlike vignettes. The lacy filigree and feathers of the father's flying machine seem as elusive as his dream. The family's home stands high on a cliff overlooking the immense sea, and varying shades of blue throughout echo father's and son's longing for the sky. There are sepia tones as well and grays that eventually morph almost to black as father sets off to war. One striking illustration depicts the winged, laurel-wreathed father atop a column ready to soar much like Daedalus of old, a Greek temple in the background. This evocative story will surely elicit discussions about having dreams and the persistence necessary to accomplish difficult goals.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

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