Author: Jane De Suza
Publisher: Puffin Press (Penguin Publishers)
It is said that a child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled. Every child is different and hence, it is important to nurture the talent that the child possesses and encourage him/her to follow the dream. Childhood is a stage when mind imbibes everything with an easy span and thus, children should not be bound by rules that prevent their magic wand (the mind) to do the magic! ‘Flyaway Boy’ is the book that explains the same idea in a very interactive and comical way. Sounding like the written version of the Bollywood movie ‘Taare Zameen Par’, ‘Flyaway Boy’ is genuine, identifiable and enjoyable at the same time.
Delectable language and the lively character of Kabir bring the story to life. While Kabir is desirous of going out in the world and exploring all avenues, his parents and his teachers want him to stick to the rules laid out by the society and strive to fit in. He struggles to explain his point of view as no one understands nor appreciates his thought process. Consequently, he is made to feel that he lets everyone down. Then one day, he goes missing and all hell breaks loose. His parents are guilty yet unaware. His sister knows somewhere deep within that she is at fault but in reality, she is not. His dog ‘shoo’ misses him terribly. But there is no news of Kabir.
Kabir’s story has become the story of every other child who bears the brunt of his parents’ expectations. Clipped wings and restricted expression does not allow the children to bloom and that is exactly what this story reminds us again and again. Knowing that every individual is talented and the real motive should be to single out that talent and then hone it, it is imperative for the adults to understand the right definition of a ‘perfect child’. The process of making a perfect child often deprives the child of the pleasures that he has the right to have in his childhood.
Overall, ‘Flyaway Boy’ is a book that offers indubitable moments of laughter and also takes us into Kabir’s world- a world that has the much-needed love but that love is often lost amidst unfulfilled hopes and heavy expectations. I did find some grammatical errors and missing words. But the smooth flow of the story sidelined those mistakes. Jane De Suza is a nonpareil storyteller and her prowess to play with words makes this story all the more interesting. This is a must-read for children as well as adults.
Best Wishes to the author!
Link to buy: Amazon