illustrated by Christiane Kromer
Using a fantastic medley of mixed-media collage that incorporates traditional Pakistani fabric, handmade paper, burlap, silk, and ribbon, Krömer skillfully captures the textures and colors of basant, the spring kite-flying festival in Lahore. During basant, the people of Lahore move to their rooftops to enjoy the spectacle of a sky filled with kites and birds, an impressive city skyline, their community, and the renewal of spring. Here, a boy in a wheelchair overpowers the neighborhood bully with his kite-flying savvy and keen, compassionate eye. While this is undeniably grounded in a Lahori tradition, it is also a universal tale of one boy’s good-natured, competitive spirit and desire to shine, if only for a day. This story could be paired with Jacqueline Woodson’s Each Kindness (2012) to spark discussion about being a bystander.