If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade
Capturing the tension of a fledgling about to leave the nest, this picture book celebrates taking chances and testing your wings. A small yellow bird muses on what would happen if they just stay in the safety of their nest, because though there would be new things to see, there is also plenty to fear. Of course, if they stay, then there is no flying, no soaring, and no making a new friend to share the air with. This book will speak to anyone looking to make a change, try something new, or just test the wind a bit.
Meade’s writing her is a poem that is spare yet gentle, a poem that stirs, lifts and soars. She does not shy away from words like “endeavor” or “scallop” which I really appreciate. This is a book that will have children and their vocabulary reaching forward too.
Her art is done in collage, combining watercolor painting with linoleum block printing. The result is a book that has strong patterns and lines yet also the softness of a watercolor sky to play against. The play of the graphic against the soft adds a very dynamic feel to the book.
Ideal for the end of the school year as teachers send their students on to the next grade, it would also make a lovely graduation gift. I’m keeping it in mind for any children’s librarian heading to a new job. What a treat to have it tucked under one wing. Appropriate for ages 4-7.
Reviewed from copy received from Candlewick.