Morris, Jordan

Out on a Limb

(2) K-3 Illustrated by Charlie Mylie. When Lulu breaks her leg, it's not so bad at first: all her classmates want to sign her bright yellow cast, and she finds new ways to do ordinary things. Soon, however, the novelty wears off. So when it's time for the cast to go, Lulu should be ready, but she's not: her leg feels fragile and unsafe. She takes to wearing one rain boot as a substitute and hangs back when her friends want to play. When Grandpa comes to visit, he reassures her that "some things just need a little extra time." The next day, Lulu sees something yellow up in a tree, and her curiosity makes her brave enough to climb it. Readers will know what the object is because throughout the book, on interspersed paneled wordless spreads, a subplot has unfolded of the unusual progress of a bright yellow envelope--carried by the wind, pushed along by a freight train, and so on until it's finally picked up by a nesting bird. The convergence of the two plots is highly satisfying, and the book ends with images of a confident (and barefoot) Lulu balancing on the high-up tree limb with her own letter to Grandpa. Yellow dominates in Mylie's minimal palette, keeping viewers' focus on Lulu and on the peripatetic envelope; facial expressions and body language are used to great effect. A welcome story of a child overcoming her fears in her own time, and of a close and supportive intergenerational friendship.


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