When You Need Wings
When You Need Wings

When You Need Wings

Written and illustrated by Lita Judge
4 - 8
Reading age
Page count
Mar 3, 2020
Publication date

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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 Kind of Book is When You Need Wings



Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • Everyday Core Feeling

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


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Book Details

Publication Date
March 3, 2020
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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.
Page Count
Reading Age
4 - 8 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
WorldCat Number (OCLC)

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Core Score - 85%

So, SO close to perfection!

Depth Score - 28%

Just the barebones.

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