Flying High


Wawa is the child’s best friend. It’s Wawa who leads him through trees, shrubs, riverbank and beach after he abandons his kite. He’s not as tall as the other children, nor as strong, articulate or skilled it seems. However, in following Wawa, the child realises the differences in life are all about him. In fact, look at ‘the sandy shore of so many shapes and sizes‘?

Is it possible that Granny and Grandpa might show the child how to ‘make a kite that would fly in the sky‘? That’s ‘big and bright‘? Alongside which Wawa might fly too? That is included within the Kite Festival?

Not only is Cao Wenxuan’s story truly meaningful and resonant with intent, but Yu Rong’s pictures are extraordinary. From the opening pages with their instructions for kite building, to the use of line and colour, pattern and sizing, we are entranced. Bookwagon recommends Flying High hugely, for sharing in assemblies, talking about, knowing and sharing widely.

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Flying High

Cao Wenxuan & Yu Rong, translated by Jake Hope & Simone- Davina Monnelly

(UCLan Publishing)

‘I am who I am! I’m as tall as I am, whether I’m tall or small’. What happens when you’re different? When you’re not as tall or strong as the other kite fliers?
Thereafter, when you try to fly your kite with the other children but everything tangles? Would you throw everything in? Would you give up so that you abandon your kite to ‘the river’? Then again, what if you’ve a Wawa? One who through Flying High leads you to riverbank, trees, shrubs and beach? In fact might you realise the great variety of life, the differences, through such an experience?
Then again, might it inspire you to enter the Kite Festival? Could Granny and Grandpa help you create a most magical kite, big and bright, striking and perfectly formed, to rise above all others? Yu Rong captures each part of this exhilarating discovery with intricate designs, symbolic colours and considered shapes. In fact, Cao Wenxuan’s story inspires us to breathe alongside the soaring kite, leading it, like Wawa, into the heavens.
Like this illustrator’s The Visible Sounds for example, Flying High is a picture book of discovery, meaning and strength. Bookwagon is inspired by this outstanding work.


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