Cover image for Flyaway Katie
Flyaway Katie
Dunbar, Polly.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 x 23 cm
On a gray, gray day, a young girl named Katie finds that adding colors to her life brightens up her day.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Whoosh! Strange and wonderful things happen when a little girl lets her creativity fly in this buoyant picture-book debut. It's a gray, gray day when Katie decides to liven herself up. After all, the birds in the picture on her wall look a lot more exciting than she does, and much happier, too. So Katie puts on her brightest clothing, takes hold of a paintbrush, and lets her imagination take flight. But it's more than her spirits that end up soaring!

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 1. When young Katie gets up she's feeling gray--literally--but that changes after she decides to put color back in her life. First, it's a green hat, then yellow tights, blue shoes, and pink dress. But that's not enough for Katie. Her lips are painted a shiny red; her face is colored blue like her shoes. Orange stripes are brushed on her arms, and there's purple paint on her nails. Once all the colors dry, they turn flighty and fizzling until Katie erupts out of the whirlwind as a bird in full plumage, frolicking with the birds until it's time to fly home for her bath. Children will be engaged by the artwork--neatly framed pictures that eventually burst into a mixed-media multihued whirl full of stars and small wheels. The cover art, featuring Katie with lusciously colored wings, gives a hint of what is to come. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

With minimal text and zesty cartoon art, the captivating heroine of this cheerful debut imagines herself out of a gloomy mood. Stuck inside on a "gray, gray day" with "no one to talk to except herself," Katie initially looks gray, too. She quickly decides "the picture on [her] wall look[s] like a much better place to be," and announces, "I need some color." Dunbar's mixed-media illustrations gradually transform the gray scene as Katie dons a green hat, yellow tights, blue shoes, etc. (kids learning color concepts will be tickled pink). She even paints her face blue and her arms with orange stripes until she gradually resembles the birds in the painting. With the words "a flittery/ fluttery/ flighty/ fizzling!/ Whoosh!" accompanying five pages of accelerating, fireworks-like bursts of colors, Katie flies into the picture on the wall and plays with the birds, "until it [is] time to fly home for her bath!" Dunbar keeps the text streamlined and simple, adding Katie's reactions in speech bubbles throughout. When the heroine introduces herself to the birds ("Hello, I'm Katie!"), each bird amusingly answers with the same single bird word: "Tweet." The magical makeover, a literal flight of fancy, will make readers' spirits soar, too. Ages 2-5. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Young Katie, who is "feeling gray," gazes at a colorful painting on the wall and decides that it looks "like a much better place to be." To cheer herself up, she puts on bright clothing, starting with a green hat, then yellow tights, blue shoes, and a pink dress. The more color she adds, the bigger her smile becomes. Next, she puts on red lipstick, paints her face blue to match her shoes, and paints orange stripes on her arms. Suddenly, something magical happens. Katie sprouts wings and flies into the painting, where she spends her afternoon frolicking with the colorful birds, until reassuringly, "-it was time to fly home for her bath!" The mixed-media illustrations perfectly capture Katie's transformation from a totally gray-outlined figure to a brightly hued creature with patterned feathers. The action is neatly contained within gray lined rectangles until Katie's transformation, when splashes of color push their way into the cream-colored borders. As she enters the painting, the illustrations become full bleed, conveying a sense of freedom and action. Told at just the right pace, this whimsical story presents a gentle reminder of the power of a child's imagination. The large text and brief sentences invite beginning readers along for the adventure.-Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.