A heartwarming story about unconditional love and rising above those who stand in the way of being who you are.
Shortly after he is born, Elbert floats up into the air. Before long, his mother must stand on her tip toes to reach him and toss toys into the air at playtime. While everyone in town, from the school nurse to the mayor, is full of advice for keeping her boy down, Elbert’s mother knows her son is meant to float. And so, she lets him.
But as life becomes more and more difficult for a floating boy, and people understand him less and less, Elbert has to make a decision: Stay bound to the ground or float higher in the hopes of finding the world—and community—he’s always wished for.
About the Author
Monica Wesolowska is the author of the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life and the picture book Leo + Lea. She teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley Extension and Stanford Continuing Studies and lives in Berkeley with her husband and two boys.
Jerome Pumphrey is a designer, illustrator, and writer. He studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Austin and has worked as a technical writer, freelance graphic designer, and illustrator. Since 2016 he has been a graphic designer at The Walt Disney Company where he uses design and illustration to visually tell stories in print, digital, and immersive experiences for Disney global business development. Together with his brother, Jarrett, Jerome is a creator multiple books, including The Old Truck, The Old Boat, and Creepy Things Are Scaring Me. Jerome lives in Florida with his family.
★ “A fun story with plenty of space left in it to apply it to nearly any discussion about celebrating who you are, especially if you feel different. And don’t we all? …Featuring the unconditional, iridescent love of a caregiver and Elbert’s own stoic nature, this is a stellar purchase for every picture book collection.” –School Library Journal, starred review
“A transcendent journey for families seeking affirming representations of those who march to their own beats.” –Kirkus
“A unique and uplifting celebration of individuality and unconditional love.” –The Horn Book
“A warming story of loving someone just the way they are.” –PW
“The ending… underscores a dilemma faced by any minority group: how do you bond with those who share your experience without the majority characterizing you as other? It’s an ending that could certainly spark some guided conversation, but readers can also just appreciate Elbert’s consistently compassionate mother and his new group of friends.” –BCCB