Book review: "Fly Danny, Fly"
From one of our writers, Kristen Maetzold, we've got something special about a special book she recently discovered. It's called "Fly Danny, Fly" and it's written by Chip Gilbertson and Gina Restivo with illustrations by Michelle Kondrich.
"When pigs fly" is a figure of speech describing the likelihood of a feat that's probably impossible to pull off. That's what an adult would say, anyway. But ask a kid what the phrase means. A child may equate the phrase to another popular quote, "If you can dream it, you can do it." (Thank you, Walt Disney, for imparting upon our children that anything is possible; that includes pigs that can fly.)
As kids, we have Disney-sized dreams of what we will be when we grow up and what we will accomplish along the seemingly endless path to adulthood. Yet, too often when we achieve that lofty "grown-up" status, we become grounded. We lose our belief that anything is possible. When we lose belief, we lose the courage to even try.
The first time through the children's book "Fly Danny, Fly," I thought it was a simple pig tale about a boy and his imaginary flying pig friend. Upon finishing, however, I realized a much deeper message. The ambitious pig is not an invisible friend, but more of a super hero. Not in the Superman sense, but instead, a supreme hero for the way he broadens the boy's imagination and belief that anything is possible. If you dream it, you can do it. That belief only broadens when the boy discovers life is also about opening your mind to the world as others see it and pushing the boundaries of your own imagination in the process.
Big message here, pigs CAN fly, all they need is a short runway, a little speed, and the buoyancy they get from believing. That's all any of us need when reaching for our dreams. Having loved ones to lift us also helps.
This message may be missed on the littlest of listeners, but young readers will take it to heart. So will adults.
Rhyme and whimsy will keep kids' attention. For adults, the reasoning behind the rhyme will linger long after story time.
You can buy "Fly Danny, Fly" online at www.pigupstation.com. The book costs $16, the poster $3 and the coloring book $4. A portion of the proceeds of the book go to The Danny Did Foundation. 4 year old Danny Stanton died in his sleep on December 12, 2009 from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy.) Danny's parents created the foundation to increase awareness and to promote the development and use of seizure detection and prevention devices. Learn more at www.dannydid.org.