Today I bring another very favorite from this year. A book in rhyme that feels like a gift. A book that encourages and equips. A book for a laugh and comfort. A book for when you need to take a risk or act on a big dream; or when you are just thinking about a risk or a dream. A book that gives you that soft landing and the assurance for coming home. A book Just In Case You Want To Fly by Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson, 2019.

What is it about

This is just what the title says: just in case you want to fly. It is a beautifully poetic gift of practical and reasonable things you might need to fly, or when you are flying or where you are flying. It is a gift of things like wind and sky, plates and snacks, rocks and coins, songs and a joke, and most importantly, gifts for coming home.

Why I picked it?

I wanted to fly so badly as a kid. It is something I dreamed about, sang about, drew about, and even attempted to become (in a short adolescent year of researching becoming a pilot, only to discover my motion sickness had other plans). I would have loved this book and I absolutely do. I love the reasonable and rational bits of it that are reasonable and rational in an almost joke, but perfectly serious kid tone. I love that it feels like a poem or conversation right to me. I love that I can hear someone saying it and it sounds just right.

Julie Fogliano is quickly securing her place as my favorite picture book writer. I love her words and phrases and tones. And I gladly hold my spot in the Christian Robinson fan club. His art is always fun, always approachable, always feels so simple and yet so perfect. I love that this book makes me smile, makes me laugh, and makes me feel hugged. And I love that this book doesn’t feel forced. Christian has a brilliance in making a wildly broad and inclusive illustration that feels personal and tangible.

Who will love this?

Everyone will love this book. But it is particularly perfect for that person who wants to fly… or dare or risk or dream. It is a sensibly tender book for the dreamer and the risk-taker and the one you’ll always love even as you shake your head and marvel at their wild endeavors. Give this book for someone to always come home.

Bonus Gift Pairings

This book has a world of possibilities to pair. Going with the flying theme, I love the idea of these aviator goggles, you know, in case they want to fly. I would also add a favorite stuffed animal, new or old; and perhaps even a few items off the list the book gives: feather, cherry, umbrella… there are some amazingly fun options. But make sure no matter what, it ends with the kisses on their head.

Here’s hoping your holiday season is off to a fantastic start. Thanks for following along with my favorite books from the year. I hope they make their way to someone special on your gift list!