“Mei-Mei: Flying with Flair” by Jaybie D.

“Mei-Mei: Flying with Flair” by Jaybie D. 819 1024 Reader Views Kids

Mei-Mei: Flying with Flair   

Jaybie D.
Wonder Whirl Press (2024)
ISBN: 978-1961860230
Reviewed by Diana Coyle for Reader Views (05/2024)

Mei-Mei is very self-conscious and shy flying around others, no matter if it is family or other fairies from the local forest in “Mei-Mei: Flying With Flair” by Jaybie D. Ironically, she comes from a family of elegant fliers who are extremely posed and graceful when they fly, so she feels she isn’t of the same flying capability as they are. One day, she decides to go flying beyond the forest that she knows so well.

As she’s flying around exploring, she sees Squadglide birds flying together. She’s so busy paying attention to their formation and elegant flying technique that she misjudges and flies right into one of the poor birds, causing an accident. To prevent this from happening again, she decides to take notes on their flying techniques in hopes she can adopt one or two for herself. She practices flying near them trying to mimic their every move. The next day, she notices other local fairies looking envious of her new flying techniques. She is determined to keep practicing so she can fly as gracefully as her other family members.

During one of her practice sessions, she befriends Ms. Hoo, the local owl, who tells her that each bird flies differently from other birds for specific reasons. Now Mei-Mei sets out to find out what her unique flying style needs to be, and she’s determined to do it with pride and confidence. Does Mei-Mei accomplish her goal?

I thought this was a great story for children to read because it teaches them to continue trying when they first don’t succeed. Everyone needs practice at things and flying for Mei-Mei was her priority since she came from a family of elegant fliers. Although this was based on a fairy, children will easily be able to place themselves into this mindset and want to continue achieving whatever their goals might be just as Mei-Mei was determined to develop a beautiful flying style.

I loved how determined she truly was in developing her own flying style and she stopped at nothing to achieve this. Whether taking notes on how the Squadglide birds were flying, or listening to advice from Ms. Hoo, Mei-Mei diligently continued practicing and developing her own unique style of flying. Children will learn about determination as Mei-Mei works toward her personal goal.  They will also discover confidence as they persist with difficult tasks.

I also feel that this story encourages children to approach their dreams with open minds and hearts so they can become confident while finding their own unique flair in whatever they set their minds to. I loved how the author instilled in Mei-Mei that she needed to have an open mind and heart to whatever she truly wanted to learn to do, which was learning to become an elegant flier like her family was already known to be. This was such an important goal for Mei-Mei and the author made sure that her character continued to pursue her goal even though it wasn’t the easiest thing for her to achieve right away. Children will learn that perseverance is important in whatever they set out to achieve in their lives.

The illustrations, provided also by the author, were colorful and uniquely drawn, pulling readers further into Mei-Mei’s story as they turned the pages. These illustrations reminded me of mini watercolor paintings, each designed to entertain the readers while they followed along with Mei-Mei in her flight lessons. Some illustrations even had the reader listing how many animals were in the picture helping to reinforce just how engaged the readers truly were while spending time with Mei-Mei.

Overall, I enjoyed traveling along with Mei-Mei and I think children will enjoy getting lost in her story. There are lessons each child can take away from “Mei-Mei: Flying with Flair” by Jaybie D. This story is listed for 4- to 8-year-old readers, and I think this is a perfect story for that age range. Well done!   

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