Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo

Quirky characters, plucky humor, and a heartwarming message come together in this big-hearted debut novel about friendship and the true meaning of family.

Sometimes flying means keeping your feet on the ground…

Born in a dismal room in a pet store, Alastair the African grey parrot dreams of escape to bluer skies. He’d like nothing more than to fly away to a palm tree with his beloved sister, Aggie. But when Aggie is purchased by twelve-year-old Fritz, and Alastair is adopted by elderly dance-enthusiast and pie-baker Albertina Plopky, the future looks ready to crash-land.

In-between anxiously plucking his feathers, eating a few books, and finding his own poetic voice, Alastair plots his way to a family reunion. But soon he’s forced to choose between the life he’s always dreamed of and admitting the truth: that sometimes, the bravest adventure is in letting go.


"Warmhearted, delightfully quirky, and believable." —Kirkus Reviews

"Reminiscent of The One and Only Ivan’s storytelling, Leonardo has crafted a tale that will have readers rooting for each character . . . A witty animal-centered story that will remind readers that families come in many shapes and sizes." —School Library Journal

"This is a book about animals, friendship, and love, but mostly about how everyone needs to be loved and needed, whether they are an animal or a human." —School Library Connection

You can purchase The Simple Art of Flying at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: © Stephanie DeMott

Cory Leonardo grew up believing she’d replace Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune, but when that didn’t work out, she decided she’d turn letters and phrases in a different way (but minus the glittery dresses, sadly). A born and bred upstate New Yorker, she currently lives in the Syracuse area with her husband and three plucky children. Cory was selected and mentored in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars 2016 and has been an active SCBWI member for the past five years. The Simple Art of Flying/Call Me Alastair is her first novel.



  1. "If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?" Badgers seem to be quite vituperative!

  2. The Wolverine might be nasty and rude, perhaps a hyena as well. The Sun Bear might be a bit rude and cranky as well.

  3. If animals could talk I think the rudest would be a llama.

  4. The rudest animal would be a camel.

  5. The rudest animal would be a gopher.

  6. I think cats would the rudests