The Definitive Guide to

When You Need Wings

Written & illustrated by Lita Judge
5.44 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 3.9 / 5.0
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Prices as of Apr 12
Retail Price
used $6.69
Mar 3, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“A lovely meditative and imaginative journey of a child finding calm in the midst of anxiety or fear.”

With a substantial section of the story starting in the beginning endpapers, Judge’s illustrations show the apprehension and anxiety of a young girl hesitantly leaving her house with her father and waving goodbye to her mother. Her dad seems somewhat distracted by his cell phone (a gentle reprimand on parents being distracted from addressing a child’s emotional needs) as he walks hand in hand with his daughter to her appropriately-named “Little Dreamers Preschool.” At this point, the text joins in to amplify the story, sharing how when she’s surrounded by loud sounds, feeling afraid, and wanting to disappear, she closes her eyes and listens to the beating within—not that of your heart, but “the sound of your very own wings.” With the illustrations mirroring this exercise, the girl laughs, dances, and finds animal friends—creatively connected to her schoolmates with animal details (a hat, backpack, or shirt)—that join her, one at a time and then in droves, as if also seeking calm, peace, and comfort. The illustrations perfectly capture the range of emotions and imagination throughout the story, carrying the flowing text through the wind that lifts her wings. Judge skillfully portrays a joyful and optimistic story of conquering fears.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

In the tradition of Where the Wild Things Are, beloved author-illustrator Lita Judge brings us a soaring story about the power of imagination.

On a day when you feel like no one is listening, and you wish you could just disappear, shut your eyes and listen. Do you hear it? That isn’t your heart. That is the sound of your very own wings beating within.

Acclaimed author-illustrator Lita Judge takes readers on a wonder-filled exploration of a child’s imagination, thoughtfully weaving in a gentle suggestion of how to explore that bountiful inner world and let it help them shine with courage in the real one.

What Kind of Book is When You Need Wings

Quotes from This Book

  • “This is the sound of your very own wings, beating within.”

Where Does This Book Stand Out

Everyday Core Feeling

The “Everyday Core Feeling” badge is awarded to exceptional books addressing common but powerful feelings.

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.75 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
6.0 / 7.0
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
4.5 / 7.0
B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mama who believes you're never too old for magical stories of talking animals and imaginary worlds.
5.5 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include When You Need Wings

Book Topics › self-esteem
Children's Books About Self-esteem
Book Topics › self-esteem and self-reliance
Children's Books About Self-esteem And Self-reliance
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
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Who Wrote When You Need Wings

author & illustrator
Lita Judge

Lita Judge is the author/illustrator of twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books, including Mary’s Monster, a YA novel about Mary Shelley and the creation of Frankenstein. Her picture books include Flight School, Born in the Wild, Red Sled, Hoot and Peep, and One Thousand Tracings. Lita worked as a geologist and paleontologist before turning to a life of creating art. A childhood spent with eagles, owls, and other animals also inspires her work. When not painting or writing, Lita loves riding her electric bike to far off places, or backpacking through Europe with sketchbook in hand. She lives in Peterborough, NH.

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What Has Lita Judge Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Lita know that you want more details about When You Need Wings! Try tweeting Lita on twitter (@litajudge) or messaging Lita on instagram (@litajudge).

Lita Judge's Book Dedication

For Puma, who gave me wings. And thank you to Emma Ledbetter, Ann Bobco, Reka Simonsen, and Sonia Chaghatzbanian.

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Book Details

Publication Date:
March 3, 2020
Text Details:
The text for this book was set in Adobe Caslon Pro.
Illustration Details:
The illustrations for this book were rendered in pencil and watercolor.
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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Core Score - 66%
Making good progress . . .
Depth Score - 28%
Just the barebones.
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