Willa and Wade and the Way-Up-There

Willa and Wade and the Way-Up-There

A review of Willa and Wade and the Way-Up-There by Judith Henderson

Published on March 14, 2024

Willa and Wade and the Way-Up-There
Judith Henderson
Illustrated by Sara Sarhangpour

Kids Can Press
$16.99
cloth
40pp
9781525308420

Willa is a high-top-wearing ostrich and Wade is a small but mighty penguin who both have so much in common: their names both start with “W,” both are daydreamers, and they’re both flightless birds with a yearning to fly. The best part of their friendship? They’re always up for something new! 

In Willa and Wade and the Way-Up-There, every frame is thoughtfully animated, giving off the sense that readers are watching their favourite cartoon. The characters are just so cute and likeable in their demeanor. Determined on their quest to fly, it seems like Wade has all of the brilliant ideas while Willa is his biggest supporter. They experiment by moving at top speed to get a running start or try ballet to achieve lift-off, but at every attempt, they literally fall flat in their efforts. This doesn’t stop them from having fun, however, and as they carry on with their antics, surprisingly, they only get closer to their goal. From beginning to end, author Judith Henderson and illustrator Sara Sarhangpour make sure that readers are laughing and smiling along with the adorable pair of pals in this story as they reach for the sky.mRb

Phoebe Yī Lìng is a freelance writer, editor, and full-time explorer. She currently works with the Nunavik Inuit community as a Gladue writer and sometimes spends her time dabbling in experimental performance or marvelling at the complexities of intra/interpersonal communication.

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