A girl’s desire to fly a kite dovetails with her grief over losing a pet in this beautifully illustrated picture book.
When Melia, a girl with light-brown skin and curly hair, asks older children if she can fly one of their kites, they tell her to make her own. She doesn’t know how, so she goes to the library to find out. There, she discovers a book about kites and uses it to make a beautiful triangular creation with a bow and long tail. At first, it won’t fly, and the older children jeer. But Melia keeps trying, and she’s successful and happy—because on it, she taped a letter for her deceased dog, Ginger. She hopes that Ginger will find a way to leave her a note in the stars. Married authors Samuel and Freda Narh reveal the story a bit at a time, interrupting the linear kite-making narrative with Melia’s recollections of Ginger and an expression of the joy she feels when she sees the library. Their language is poetic (“this aged booklet smells like success”) and balances the sometimes-challenging turns of phrase with shorter text and Suria’s large pastel illustrations, which capture the tone perfectly and use details from the apparently East African setting to enhance Melia’s world.
A well-told, offbeat story that blends themes of perseverance and healing.