Review Blog

Mar 07 2019

The flying light by Yuanhao Yang

cover image

Starfish Bay, 2018. ISBN 9781760360535.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Imagination. Insects. Cities. The words, 'one dull morning' invite the reader to look closely at the accompanying illustration, a bird's's eye view of a city square, where a strange lizard appears resting on the cobblestones, a man to the side, watching. The soft watercolour illustrations detail a town and each page adds more detail to this almost medieval city and the land which surrounds it.
In climbing aboard the lizard the pair casts off, flying after a luminous insect they have spotted. They spend time searching for this insect, and when they find it, realise that it is one amongst many searching for flowers which replenish their light. The man takes a flower and plants it in his town, attracting the light filled insects to the place, changing it from a dull environment to one full of light.
The wordless picture book and accompanying intriguing illustrations invite readers to use their imaginations, to ponder over the deeper meanings, to see a moral to the story which they can understand. Within their view of the world this story can apply to understanding a concept, making friends, understanding environmental concerns, looking at the needs of animals, the list is endless, and I'm sure teachers and parents will be amazed at the discussions which ensue after reading this book. For me the inter-reliance of man, animal and environment stands out, one so dependent on the other, making me think of bees and their interdependence on our use of herbicides which is destroying their ability to harvest the flowers and so pollinate which is necessary for our food source.
Fran Knight

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