Mel Fell


A Caldecott Honor Book and ALA Notable Book of the Year! An innovative and charming tale about a plucky little bird, from the award-winning author-illustrator of Fox the Tiger.

Readers will delight in turning their book sideways and upside down to follow Mel on her journey from downward fall to triumphant flight in this tale of self-confidence and taking a leap of faith.

Sometimes, you might fall




before you learn to fly




“The mixed media drawings, alive with wonderful textures and soft colors, show Mel executing an impressive aerial somersault before blithely hurtling headfirst in parallel with the tree trunk as inhabitants below are thrown into comic panic, convinced that Mel’s dive-bombing will result in disaster…. ‘Hope’ may be the thing with feathers, but Mel proves that ‘gutsy’ can be, too.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Young people, who find themselves on the precipice of new activities, routines, schools, and challenges so frequently, will savor this little kingfisher’s success and perhaps feel they can right themselves the next time they fall into a downward spiral….Encourages children to feel brave, to try, and to believe they can soar.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“There’s a good deal of humor in this lighthearted story; a slug keeps promising to help but never makes it far, and a fly is liberated (“I’m free!”) from the spider’s web when Mel falls through it. Tabor’s relaxed, loose-lined illustrations capture the energy of the fall as well as Mel’s endearing, determined personality.” — Horn Book (starred review)

“Heartening fare for nestlings facing plunges of their own.” — Booklist

“Clever wordplay and lively narration give this immediate appeal, while the unique composition and dynamic mixed-media art confer buoyant energy. Audiences will appreciate Mel’s no-nonsense, can-do attitude, and aspiring birdwatchers will find a few fun facts in the author’s note.”  — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

40 pages

Age 2 - 6 years