Cover Image: The Simple Art of Flying

The Simple Art of Flying

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Member Reviews

Wonderful story to help students grasp the true meaning of family. Fell in love with the animals! Great for teaching theme!
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4.5 stars my 11 year old adds - we read it together

This is not Madagascar; when it started with talking animals, I envisioned a movie with lots of action. This is a much slower book, even though it is a quick read. It takes a little time to slow down, enjoy the cherries, appreciate the poetry from Alistair, the notes from Fritz and the letters from Mrs. Plopky. 

I thought it picked up half - 2/3 the way in and we grew much more entertained by this little cast and the letters/poetry/message of the story. I do think we could all learn from Alastair’s process about appreciating people in our lives and knowing that given some time, many things work out, although differently than we hope or expect (similar to my experience with this book). 

I think it would also make a good read for people transitioning to an assisted living or retirement living situation. I love how middle grade books are good reads at many ages. I have been enjoying them so much with my son.
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I enjoyed it. I think Alastair's voice reads likes an adult, which might not resonate with all middle grade readers, but I think the humor and adventure will draw readers in. It's not a funny book, it's actually sometimes rather sad, but there is comic relief in some of Alastair's crazy schemes and silly antics (especially when it comes to tormenting Tiger, the cat). The re-written poetry is sometimes quite funny, and might compel kids to look up the originals. Overall I think readers will appreciate Alastair's relationship with Aggie, Fritz's insecurities and quirkiness, and Bertie's spunkiness and words of wisdom.
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Enjoyed book, though it moved a little slow, and I wasn't crazy about the main characters POV changing. Decent read, might recommend to someone younger who likes birds.
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In the description of The Simple Art of Flying it said perfect for fans of athe One and Only Ivan! Hmmm, I wasnt sure I believed it, since that was an amazing story, but it’s true. This is an adorable tale of family, friendship, gratitude and growing up. 
Alastair and Aggie are sibling parrots born in a pet store. Alastair is always thinking up plans for their escape, since he’s always looking toward a bigger and better life. Aggie just seems to go along with whatever her brother says is best.
But Alastair’s plans don’t turn out exactly as he hoped for him or his sister, and it’s at his lowest point that Allistair is able to see things much clearer. I love Alastair! ❤️
This is a wonderful middle grade book that children will love! I’m guessing kids everywhere will be begging for a pet bird after reading this story! It’s almost enough to make me want one, and we already have dogs, a cat and two rats! 
Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for this wonderful advanced copy, in exchange for my honest review. 
This will appear on my blog Friday, February 8, 2019.
www.colecampfireblog.com
LanaLCole@Yahoo.com
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Charming story for the age range. I think many readers will be able to relate to the emotions and experiences of Pete, Bertie and the gang.
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Aggie wants nothing more than to escape their dreary life in the pet shop. He wants to fly away with his sister to palm trees, sunshine and blue skies. Meanwhile, an elderly woman is trying to figure out how to live life without her partner by her side. Lastly, a young boy is doing everything he can to become a doctor when he grows up. Even if that means not fitting in with other kids his own age.

With three distinct voices, this book shows true characters filled with authenticity and flaws. Written in prose, in verse, and in epistolatory form, each character shines through as they struggle with being true to themselves. Sometimes, as the characters come to find out, dreams may change. And you have to be willing to stretch your wings and trust that you can fly.
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What I Liked
The cuteness of this book will knock you over. Seriously! I grew up with parrots (macaws when I was really little, then conures and finally a very grouchy lovebird named Zeke) and Alastair is a PERFECT African Grey. And by that I mean I feel like if I walked past him, he'd give me side-eye and then throw a peanut shell at the back of my head. But I never knew any African Greys who were such good poets as Alastair. I never asked them, though. Maybe that's why they threw peanut shells...
 
What I Would Have Liked to See
You know, I can't think of anything missing from this book. It was perfect for what it was trying to achieve. Maybe a disclaimer on one end that African Greys are difficult little buttheads and hard to take care of, and you should under no circumstances go buy one because you think it's going to be a good pet (it might be a good pet, but it will also make you go deaf and bite every finger to hamburger, so like... choices).
 
My Favorite!
Alastair's poetry was so wonderful! My favorite was "ULTRAVIOLET" where he's talking about how parrots see color versus how humans see color. The language in the poem is breathtaking, gorgeous, just incredible. I want to frame it and put it somewhere but I don't know what kind of context I could display it in. WHATEVER! Read it. Be swept away.
 
TL;DR
Grouchy parrot aims for escape his entire life, but poetry and cherries change his mind. Perfect for all ages!!
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