Elbert in the Air by Monica Wesolowska, illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey

Published by Dial Books

Summary:  Shortly after Elbert is born, he floats into the air.  His mother gets all kinds of advice from so-called experts: catch him in a net like a butterfly, reel him in like a kite, or deflate him like a balloon.  But Elbert’s wise mother ignores all the suggestions and lets him be himself.  This pattern is repeated as Elbert gets older and starts school, then grows into a teenager.  When Elbert feels lonely, his mom assures him that he will find his place in the world.  Finally, with his mother’s support–and a full picnic basket she’s supplied–Elbert floats higher and higher until he finds a whole community of floating people just like him.  Happy in the world he’s always wished for, he sends a rope down to his mother who climbs up and joins them.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  This is a sort of how-to manual for raising a child who doesn’t always fit in.  Elbert’s mother is steadfast in her support, and consequently, Elbert grows up to find his people without having to compromise who he really is.  As always, Jerome Pumphrey’s unique illustrations are a delight.

Cons:  I hope if one of my children is ever in this position, she sends me an easier way to ascend than climbing a rope.

One thought on “Elbert in the Air by Monica Wesolowska, illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey

  1. Hello,
    The story line sounded familiar … a short filmed called Float was released in 2021.

    Thank you so very much for continuing your Book A Day reviews. My (former, I retired recently) library co-workers and I find them very helpful as we navigate a school district without a K-8 Librarian.


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