Saturday, March 7, 2020

Review: When You Need Wings by Lita Judge

by Lita Judge
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

In the tradition of Where the Wild Things Are, beloved author-illustrator Lita Judge brings us a soaring story about the power of imagination.

On a day when you feel
like no one is listening,
and you wish you could just disappear,
shut your eyes and listen.
Do you hear it?
That isn't your heart.
That is the sound of your very own wings
beating within.

Acclaimed author-illustrator Lita Judge takes readers on a wonder-filled exploration of a child's imagination, thoughtfully weaving in a gentle suggestion of how to explore that bountiful inner world and let it help them shine with courage in the real one.



Dreams take flight into a wonderful world of imagination, while bringing words of encouragement and confidence.

Some days, it feels like no one listens or hears you, and you just want to disappear. And that's when the magic can begin....if you simply are brave enough to listen.

This is one of those books, which invites kids to the world of imagination and opens the doors to the wonderful land of pretend. The illustrations are beautiful and, at the same time, are sprinkled with lovely drops of fantasy. Tigers and crocodiles invite to play with rabbits and koalas. All the while, in the natural setting of a forest. It's fun simply to gaze through the pages and dive into the world. And yet, all of this happens on the basis of an important, emotional moment, which readers can identify with.

The book starts with a girl, who feels a little alone and ignored...or at least, a little pushed to the side. Her sadness is clear and strikes sympathy. But these pages don't leave her alone. There's the warm embrace of family (a lovely message) and then, the fantasy takes flight. The ending wraps it up in an unexpected and very meaningful way.

And here she is...

Lita Judge is the award-winning author and illustrator of many children's books, including When you Need Wings; Filight School; Penguin Flie Home; Red Sled; Red Hat; Good Morning to Me; Born in the Wild; and her illustrated young adult novel, Mary's Monster. She lives with her husband, two cats, and a parrot in New Hampshire. Yu can visit her online at

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