As part of my passion project, I’ve recently finished (and loved) two of Walter Dean Myers’ early picture books: Where Does the Day Go? (illustrated by Leo Carty) and Fly, Jimmy, Fly! (illustrated by Moneta Barnett).
Where Does the Day Go? is delightful. A group of kids are in the park with one of the children’s father, and they have a pretty serious conversation about what happens to the day when it turns into night. Each kid has a theory, but each theory leaves the group with questions. So they take turns telling their theories and trying to answer the questions.
What I love about this book is that, although the father knows the answer and shares it with the children at the end, each child still gets to share what she or he thinks, and their opinions are all treated seriously and with respect. They’re able to imagine and wonder how the world works, and they listen to each other and expand upon each other’s ideas. In fact, the book ends with another question, and the reader can imagine the children having another intelligent and equally thoughtful conversation about that question as well.
While I really liked Where Does the Day Go?, I LOVED Fly, Jimmy, Fly! It’s about this boy who sees birds flying and wants to fly just like them. I can’t even put into words why I loved it so much. I interpreted it as being all about dreaming and having dreams and wanting them no matter what. Everyone tells Jimmy he can’t fly because he’s not a bird, and he just KNOWS that one day he’ll get to fly and be bigger than his neighborhood and see so much of the world. And since he can’t fly yet, he constantly imagines himself as a bird, flying.
It just really warmed my heart. I wish I had known about the book when my daughter was little. I think it would’ve been a favorite of ours. THIS BOOK IS SO GREAT. Totally worth trying to find and read for any dreamer. I just loved it.
I also wish an image of the book cover were available or that I had thought to take a picture of some of the pages. I had to get the book through interlibrary loan (all the way from Alabama!), and the cover was obscured by the ILL sticker. I thought for sure there’d be a picture of it online, but I was wrong. Oh well.
Anyway, I highly recommend both of these books. They may be hard to find because they’re older, but that’s why God and the librarians invented ILL.