Thursday, September 06, 2007

Flyaway Katie

Flyaway Katie
by Polly Dunbar

Ages : 3-6

A gray gray day is what it is. And your spirits are low. And you really need a lifter! What do you do? Well if you are lost on ideas, perhaps you need a helping hand. How about I tell you the story of little Katie, who was also feeling quite gray. So gray...that there is no colour in her at all. And the birds in the picture on her wall look sooo much more interesting and happy than she does.

But wait! She just had an idea! And I think it involves some green. A green hat, I mean. She just found herself a bright green hat and she put it on. She looks nice and feels a little better, but still...the gray won't go away. :(


that's the sound of another idea cooking up in her head. And this time, it involves yellow. Bright, fluorescent, sunshiny yellow! The yellow of the tights that she pulls on to add more colour into her life. And she pulls them on soo high, it comes right up to her nose. She's a funny sight, this Katie is. Feel like a smile now, do you? Well, I wouldn't blame you. Colour has a way of doing that to people. Look at Katie. She's feeling brighter already...but not bright enough.

Time for another colour, you think? Well, you're right! And blue has arrived, in the form of her pretty shiny shoes. And now, she's finally into the swing of things. No stopping her now, no siree! A pink dress it is...her best pink dress...and she's getting brighter!

Next, she's painting her lips a shiny shiny red. And her face a blue to match her shoes. Oooops! She must look a sight. Just put together all those colours you have seen so far. And then add orange to it. Yup, orange! Because she just painted orange stripes on her arms!!! And pink's cousin was not to be left out either, for she painted her fingertips purple!

Phew!! I think she's finally done. It was getting dizzying, wasn't it? But you forgot all about your grays, didn't you? Katie's now standing still so the paint can dry. And then....slowly, slowly...something happens. A light flittery fluttery something.

What's that? What happened to her you ask? Well...take a look at that painting on her wall. Yes, that painting with the birds. The happy birds. Look closer. Do you see a familiar green, yellow, blue, pink, red, orange, purple somebody in there? Well...there's your answer. For Katie just figured out a way to be part of that picture she always fancied. Tweet tweet tweet tweet...all the birds said when they saw her. And that's where she stayed all afternoon...rollicking around, until it was time to fly home...for her bath. Now now, don't raise your eyebrows at that colour filled watery mess on the bathroom floor. After all, she just helped you drive your grays away!

Well, now that you know all about Katie, here are some other tidbits that I wanted to share. I had borrowed this book a long time ago and enjoyed reading it so much that I always remembered it. Its such a simple, whimsical, fashionably minimalistic story about a little girl with tons of imagination. Winkie enjoyed our second innings with it too. Especially, since he had a painting on the wall that he kept looking at imagining his own little self flying right into it...and suddenly it all became very real to him, and he was riveted. Also, the book was simple enough for him, as a beginner reader, to read it by himself with some help from me on a few words.

The book is authored and illustrated by Polly Dunbar. It was her first picture book and in her own words...

"Flyaway Katie is about the ability we all have to change our mood and make ourselves feel happier. All you need is a bit of creativity and a lick of paint!"

Do check out her website. Its equally whimsical, funny and a spunky way to display a bio. It will also give you a fair idea about how the book has been illustrated. In my words, I would call it fun, frivolous and downright funky. Right from the very first page, which houses the title and publication information...there is a picture of an exotic looking bird, one of the birds from the painting in fact, looking inside a mirror. Only, this bird is gray. But its reflection is all in colour. Very cute! And the bird has left behind a set of footprints, which are also in colour. And I have attempted to replicate those footprints use it as a little divider up there.

So, whenever you are feeling blue errrr...gray...I hope you will remember Katie and her colour filled afternoon!


sathish said...


polly dunbar website looks nice..

and a review that adds more colour to saffrontree..

ranjani.sathish said...

Tharini, I think such colourful and attractive books will be a sure hit with children. It will make them want to go back to it again and again :-)

Tharini said...

Thanks Ranjani and Sathish. I think colourful books are a hit with adults too....given that I remembered it after a space of 2 years! :)

Anonymous said...

tharini i think i'll bunk polly dunbar and read you instead! what a lovely colourful review!

this is to all you reviewers at saffron tree -
there is this thing people say at weddings (its usually said to the brides mother) - you look so nice, iots not fair to the bride!
like that, i want to tell you guys - you write the reviews so well its not fair to the original authors!!!

Praba Ram said...

What a fantastic treat - both your review and the book! Polly Dunbar - never heard of her before. Will check her out for sure!

Your creativity is awe-inspiring! :-)

Tharini said...

Thanks d. That sure is a very motivating compliment. :)

Praba : Thanks a bunch. Looking forward to all the treasure reads you will have now that you are back. Bring 'em on!

Meera Sriram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meera Sriram said...

Tharini, the book looks like a sure spirit-lifter for those bland winter days. Thanks!

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