Author/Illustrator: Tomi Ungerer
Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2011 (First published in German, Diogenes, 1980)
Themes: kangaroos, flight, courage, uniqueness
Opening: Adelaide’s parents were surprised when they saw that their daughter had wings.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Adelaide, a kangaroo with wings, discovers that her unique anatomy and abilities bring her fame and fortune in Paris.
I like this book because: the story line does not follow ‘traditional’ patterns and norms, as in escalating scenes or the protagonist having a strong hand in solving the ‘conflict’. Adelaide doesn’t see her uniqueness as a problem, she embraces it. That was enough to satisfy me, as well as Ungerer’s ability to tell so much with so few lines. I recently watched a documentary on Ungerer, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, and was touched by the way Maurice Sendalk spoke of him. In an article Sendak once described Ungerer’s work as passionate and personal – “it’s marvelous and it’s cuckoo and it’s that kind of veracity that’s always made for good children’s literature” (The New York Times, Sept 2011). Random tidbit: Amazon has a choking hazard warning for this book on their site! Go figure!
Resources/activities: Vintage Kid’s Books My Kid Loves posted a recommendation, and a list of Ungerer titles you might be interested in – click on any of the links for more on each book; discuss things that might make us unique, special and different from other family members or friends.
Perfect Picture Book Friday is on hiatus for the summer, but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan