Freddie the Flyer.
By Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and Fred Carmichael. Illus. by Audrea Loreen-Wulf
Oct. 2023. 32p. Tundra, $17.99 USD (9781774880807). Gr. 1–3. 629.13092
The story of an Indigenous boy who dreamed of taking to the sky unfolds across the year in this
picture-book biography that draws on Gwich’in and Inuvialuqtun languages, the power of an unshakeable passion, and, as rendered in the gorgeous painted illustrations, the beauty of nature.
Freddie had dreamed of flying airplanes ever since he was a little boy, but, as a shy Native boy in the Northwest Territories, that felt like a distant hope. He worked hard throughout his life though, and that hard work, ultimately culminating in that very dream, drives this narrative. Told month by
month, with short prose and a lush illustration on the facing page, the story brings to light Fred’s
dedication alongside the natural elements in which he flourished. The prose is tight and
unadorned, which works well juxtaposed with the deep, vibrant paintings. Add this to collections
looking for more Indigenous heroes, stories about pilots, illustrations that look like they came
right off a gallery wall, and biographies that expand our expectations for those around us.
— Aryssa Damron
Published in Booklist September 14, 2023