I am Henry Finch, by Alexis Deacon, illustrations by Viviane Schwarz; Candlewick Press, $16.99, 40 pages, ages 3-6.
Henry Finch knows he’s destined for greatness, but until now, all he’s done in life is flutter from tree to tree, outwitting the hungry beast who prowls below. One day Henry has enough of the lubmering creature eating his friends, and realizes this is his chance to be great. Well, Henry ends up in the belly of the beast, but what he does there is a charming ode to courage and resilience. Author Alexis Deacon (llustrator of Russell Hoban’s Soonchild) confirms with wit and humor that heroes can appear from the least likely of places. The birds are rendered as red thumbprints and stick figure illustration (courtesy of There Are Cats In This Book author-illustrator Viviane Schwarz), a reminder that we are all unique and capable of soaring high.