The Skywriter by Dennis Haseley
Illustrated by Dennis Nolan
Published by Roaring Book Press
"Charles was kneeling by the dollhouse. He was talking to the figures, and they were talking back. He was just a little boy then." Charles would play with his three figurines: the airplane man, the soldier, and the baker. They would talk about flying on a plane, writing letters in the sky and visiting far-off lands.
As the years go by, Charles gets older and can't hear the figures talk anymore. One day, while he's cleaning his play room to prepare it for a new baby brother, he finds the figures again. He packs all his old toys in a box to be thrown out. That night, he goes back to the toys and though he can't hear them, he plays with them. He thought it was all a bit silly, but before he goes back to bed, he grabbed some chalk and on a scrap of paper he wrote "Here we go!", the same words that the airplane man would say he wanted to write in the sky. After he leaves, the toys come out of the playhouse and see the words written in their sky. The next morning, Charles runs to the curb and rescues the three figures before the garbage truck gets there.
The Skywriter is a heartfelt story about growing up. I couldn't help thinking about Toy Story as I read the book. The illustrations by Nolan are amazing. I especially loved the contrast of the lifelike images of Charles and his sister and brother, and the image of the figures coming alive.