From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-An uplifting story about conquering fears and making friends. Hugo, the scarf-sporting avian protagonist, prefers walking to flying. He enjoys his ground-based Parisian life, making art instead of nests. While building a model of the Eiffel Tower, he meets Lulu, who invites him to the real landmark. He distracts her with land-bound activities until nighttime falls and she leaves. Saddened by her departure, Hugo admits his fear of flying to Bernard the owl. The old bird wisely remarks that "everyone is afraid of something," and teaches Hugo to fly. With more practice and encouragement, he conquers his fears and befriends Lulu. Mixed-media illustrations delight with rich colors, subtly textured paper backgrounds, and varied perspectives. Drawn with almost stick-figurelike simplicity, the birds charm with their vivacious expressiveness. Playful endpapers feature Hugo engaged in his creative pursuits in the front papers and playing with Lulu in the back pages. Pair this with Rob Scotton's Splish, Splash, Splat! (HarperCollins, 2011) or Melanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel (Kids Can, 2006) for additional inspiration for anxious youngsters.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Hugo is a bird who likes his activities close to the ground. Truth be told, he is afraid to fly. So when a cutie named Lulu asks him to fly with her to the top of the Eiffel Tower, he comes up with plenty of excuses for them to do something else: playing in the park, splashing in the fountain, going to the ballet. But Hugo feels he let his new friend down, and he asks a wise old owl for help with his phobia. Here, the story takes a familiar turn as Hugo learns everyone is afraid of something. When Lulu reappears the next day, Hugo confesses his hesitation, but with the help of a good woman, he soars. What sets this story apart from others with the same basic arc is Dominguez’s delightful ink and tissue paper collages. Though the lead characters are simply executed, with black ink outlining and highlighting their basic shapes, the Paris setting is neatly captured. Parisians lounge in the park, gas lamps add effect, and the Eiffel Tower looms over the city. A charming little ode to overcoming fear. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper