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Pria Dee
Little Moe can't Fly
Pria Dee, author
Little Moe is worried about surviving cold weather, for he is not ready to fly south and winter is coming. His flock leaves but little Moe keeps trying until one day he soars in this tale of survival.
Little Moe is a Canadian gosling and a late bloomer, behind his siblings when it comes to swimming and flying. Being teased by his brothers and sisters yet encouraged by his doting mother, Moe is determined to learn how to fly before winter comes. This cute, empathetic, and (eventually) high-flying motivational picture book from Dee (author of the Billy and Molly Butter Stories series among other childrens’ books) emphasizes never giving up and the truth that it is okay when learning how to do something that others can do takes a little more time and practice. Little Moe Can’t Fly carries the imprint “Michigan Nature Stories,” and as the gosling the others call “Slow Moe”—he was slow to hatch, waddle, and swim—strives to learn to fly, young readers will learn interesting facts about Canadian geese, such as their flying patterns, when they migrate south, where they live, what they eat, and their growth from fuzzy yellow hatchlings to mature geese.

Moe's story is full of support, encouragement, and survival instincts, but the book is also fun and inviting, filled with vibrantly illustrated images from Emily Hercock and warm easy-to-read-aloud prose that comes to life with lyrical alliteration, as when Moe "flaps, flutters, and flounders" to try to stay airborne. Though it’s set in sky and waterways it still centers around concerns that young readers face, such as bullying, feelings of inadequacy, and determination in the face of adversity, insecurity, and disappointment.

This engaging children's story has been crafted to inspire young readers to always strive for their best and to never lose sight of their goals. Little Moe Can't Fly also demonstrates the hard work that goes into achieving a difficult task or acquiring a skill, even when one flounders at first. Snapshots of real Canadian geese in the final pages illustrate the birds’ life cycle, with an eye toward Michigan.

Takeaway: Inspirational story of a gosling striving to soar after floundering.

Comparable Titles: Robert Kraus's Leo the Late Bloomer, Toni Collier's Broken Crayons Still Color.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-