I love this book. I mean I LOVE this book. This one was easy. This one was just a smile to pull off. The idea came to me when I was riding in the car on the way home from my grandmother’s house on a windy April afternoon. The clouds scudded across that new blue spring sky, and the wind lifted the hair from my forehead, making me remember the days that I ran free as a child, my feet tender-bare for maybe the first time that year, with a kite riding the waves of turbulence above (and how come, looking back at things, it seems there were so FEW of those days?). There is a POWER to flying kites. The string thrums in your fist, the wind pulls it surprisingly strong, and when you’re a kid, you don’t realize what a FORCE the wind is, how it can rip off roofs and sail people catastrophically through the air. You just can’t SEE it, that’s the thing. It is invisible, powerful, and there. I remember one childhood kite, a shaped like a butterfly, with long tails depending from each wind. That thing climbed so high it was a dot with tiny ribbon thread tails, nothing but a string heading up up and away, into the air, disappearing into the distance and glare.
When I reached Junior High age, I would build my own kites, sometimes well, sometimes disastrously. I have my own kids do this now, for fun, and for part of their homeschool curriculum. I think I enjoy it more than they. I don’t have to be coaxed away from the laptop to do it, at any rate.
I remember Charles Shultz’s Charlie Brown and his kite-eating tree.
I remember, vaguely, some sort of inflatable kite my dad purchased for a family picnic when I was small-small, before my parents divorced. It was orange, and my memory has painted it as some sort of weird flotation device for the pool tethered to kite string, although I know that REALLY wasn’t how it was. There was a kite-eating tree at that picnic as well, a harbinger of things to come for my family perhaps.
And so I wrote this book. Because of all that. And because I’m a bit like Sylvia. She just believes in problem-solving.
She works it out for herself, trial-and-error, and she knows no fear. Now, that last part, about fear, ISN’T like me, not at all. I think that all the stuff we’re afraid of as kids–vampires, ghosts, monstahs–they all make much more rational sense than the crap we get scared of as adults. Mortgages, death, money, marriage, divorce, and all those other millions of miles of crap that is strewn across the roads of our lives really isn’t what we should be afraid of. We should be afraid when we DON’T see the ghosts anymore, when the vampires disappear, when money takes over and do-or-die is all wrapped up in the divorce decree. Sylvia knows she can fly, just because she KNOWS. The perfect surety of a child. She can build it, she can make it happen. Somehow, someway. I wrote this because I WANT to be Sylvia. And I want to feel that magic and that wonder of the kite string humming in my hand, pulling me to places unknown.
Watch the lil’ music video of the book here.
The music on the video was created by two mutual friends who have formed the band BETWIXT, to create amazing music for kids, that, incidentally, is very catchy for adults as well. They are awesome. They are in my book, Buck’s Rodeo. They will have their own picture book soon, as well.
Tracy Lovett is a wife, mother, author/illustrator and photographer living in Southwest Iowa. She has written and illustrated 6 children’s books in the past 3 years, the last being a novel for ages 12 and up called Buck’s Rodeo, which is available in dead tree format as well as a Kindle book. She is working hard to get the picture books on the Kindle as well. You may find her books on Amazon, and by clicking here. You may follow her on Facebook and on Twitter, and even dig her up on Pinterest.