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A young eagle gains the courage to face his fear of flying in this children’s book.

It’s time for Peter, a golden eagle who hatched three months ago, to leave the nest and fly. But he’s scared—so much so that despite having wings, he’s gotten himself a parachute. His mother urges him to have confidence, but Peter is full of what-ifs. Talking to several adult eagles, he discovers that they, too, were once wary of flying or lacked strength at first. But all of them tried their wings and discovered they could do it, got better with practice, and soon loved flying. Still, Peter is reluctant to get started. “What if he fell and snapped a wing?” When a gust of wind blows Peter from his nest, he can’t open his parachute. He panics but also remembers how other eagles were frightened to fly but “found a way to believe in themselves.” As he nears the ground, Peter flaps his wings—and flies. He learns that all he had to do to succeed was try his best, and the more he practices, the better he gets. By the end, Peter makes himself and his parents proud. Ridgeway and Manning, both consultant clinical psychologists, previously collaborated on Joe Goes To OCD School (2018). Children who are scared to try new things can identify with Peter and appreciate that he’s never mocked for his fears but instead given solid encouragement. The book offers realistic acknowledgement that first attempts may be difficult, as when Peter soon needs to rest after his first flight, but encourages a resilient attitude. It’s also reassuring that his parents were watching all along. Urosevic, who illustrated similarly themed Chasing Scaredy Away (2020), offers varied and nicely composed pictures that combine realism with anthropomorphism.

Approachable advice for kids who lack confidence.

Kirkus Reviews

Peter and the Parachute, by Nicola Ridgeway and James Manning, is a children's book that tells the story of a baby eagle named Peter, who wears a parachute because he's too afraid to test his wings and fly. His parents try to encourage him, and so does his egocentric uncle, who flies higher and faster than any eagle around, but nothing seems to work. Why? Peter lacks confidence, and this is really what this book is about. Will Peter ever shed his parachute and try his own wings, or will he forever be stuck at home in his nest, safe by his parents' side?

Accompanied by illustrations by Irena Urosevic of Peter, his family, and his attempts, this book explores feelings most children have at one time or another. The lack of self-confidence, torn between wanting to stay close to parents but also wanting to venture out independently. This story takes its time in showing Peter's progression from uncertain and afraid to courageous and independent, and this is wise on the authors' part because gaining bravery and independence can take time and usually doesn't happen overnight. The payoff at the end of this book is honestly earned, not just a rushed, convenient ending. By the end of the story, readers--adults and children too I predict--are cheering for Peter's success. Any child, teen, or adult who has experienced the fear or anxiety associated with doing something new or different, or taking a chance or risk in life, can relate to Peter's situation and feelings. Overall, Peter and the Parachute, by Nicola Ridgeway and James Manning, is a book that almost anyone can benefit from reading.

Reviewed By Tammy Ruggles for Readers’ Favorite

Having the courage to leave the nest – quite literally – is at the heart of this charming chapter book for young readers, written by Nicola Ridgeway and James Manning, and artfully illustrated by Irena Urosevic. Peter is a three-month-old young eagle – a gangly teenager, in bird years – and he’s afraid of flying in case he falls. In fact, he’s so afraid of falling that he wears a parachute at all times. His mother tries talking some sense into him, telling him that he’s a bird of prey and that he’s supposed to fly and catch his own food, but to no avail. Peter refuses to take the plunge. He’s visited by his Uncle Apollo who boasts about exploring the world and being able to fly higher than woodpeckers, gulls, condors, and even higher than the clouds. Peter is also visited by his mom’s old friend, Ace, who advises him to trust his survival instinct. Cousin Venus visits next, who confesses to being nervous about all kinds of things and having the courage to overcome his nerves. While Peter appreciates everything they’ve told him, he still is too afraid to fly – until a strong gust of wind sends Peter toppling from his nest a short while later…

The young protagonist, Peter, faces a challenge typical of most children – being afraid to do something for the first time. Peter and the Parachute teaches children that such fears and anxieties are normal and that you need to try things to find out if you can do them. It also teaches children to trust their instincts. Peter recognizes the perils of flying but he also understands his need to overcome his fear. The authors use simple words befitting the reading level of their targeted audience, yet the story draws you in, thanks to Peter’s innate vulnerability, beautifully conveyed through both the narrative and the thoughtful illustrations. Urosevic’s detailed illustrations capture the essence of the story perfectly. The backgrounds are colorful and vibrant but it’s the character of Peter and his family and friends that truly give the story life through expressive facial gestures and body posturing. Peter and the Parachute is a wonderful story that teaches an important life lesson for children – and even a few adults!

Reviewed By Marta Tandori for Readers’ Favorite