Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor
From Miss Jennie at the Ontario Branch Library
This new picture book came across my desk in mid-February. This book caught my eye because the title, author, and the picture on the front cover are all sideways. You have to turn the book to the right in order to read the title. The words are printed sideways as well. You have to hold the book up and down and lift the pages up to turn them.
Adorable pencil, colored pencil, and acrylic paint illustrations show a family of small birds peeking out of a hole on a branch in a large tree. Mel decides that today is the day she will fly. She gathers her courage and then jumps. Inside, Mel rapidly falls right through the words, tipping a few letters askew. As she plummets down the tree, other animals notice her and try to catch her, or at least slow her down. Squirrels, bees, a spider and some ants all barely miss her as she continues to fall until SPLASH! she lands in the water. In the water Mel swims around and catches a fish. After rotating the entire book 180 degrees, she shoots out of the water and flies back up the tree to her siblings.
Mel reverses past the ants, the spider, the bees and the squirrels who all congratulate her. She soars up to find her mother waiting for her on their branch. “I flew! I flew!” said Mel. To which her mother embraces her and replies, “I knew you could!” There is a note from the author on the last page that gives the reader more information about Mel, a kingfisher bird. Also included is a picture of her confidently trying to push one sibling off the branch while the other holds on for dear life.
I love the honesty, courage and confidence that Mel embodies. She subtly teaches children that there are many things to fear in life, but you can’t let that stop you from living.