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How to Heal a Broken Wing Hardcover – August 26, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763639036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763639037
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—Poignantly told and visually rich, this narrative flies high. When a pigeon breaks its wing, no one notices except Will. Sporting a bright red jacket, starkly contrasted against his drab surroundings, he and his parents take the injured creature into their home. Clean lines and effective panels showcase its steady recovery, readily receiving encouragement from the family along the way. Graham's succinct text masterfully reveals the bird's resilience. "A loose feather can't be put back/but a broken wing can sometimes heal." Pen, watercolor, and chalk illustrations add depth to this tender tale as the injured bird wistfully watches a flock of flyers outside Will's window. Exemplary use of color and perspective denote shifting moods, and thin lines enhance the vulnerability of this boy and his bird. Gently expressed and honestly delivered, this quiet, yet powerful story provides young readers with an affirming conclusion.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayatteville, NC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Quietly, effectively, Graham tells the simple story of a boy who finds a fallen bird and nurses it back to health. The text is minimal. In a busy city, “No one saw the bird fall.” But a little boy walking with his mother spies the injured bird and brings it home. Up until this point, the art has effectively utilized the oversize format, filling it with full-page pictures, vertical and horizontal strips, and cartoon-style boxes in cloudy hues. At the moment the boy lifts the bird, Graham slows the story and offers a two-page spread full of bright, hopeful colors and an intense focus on the boy with the bird in hand. Turn the page and both mood and perspective change once more. Now the pages are full of people, walking, biking, rushing, while in an upper corner of the spread, encircled in a glow, readers find boy and bird; the unspoken, unwritten message is clear. Who cares in such a large place if a small pigeon falls? One child does. Although the rest of the story is a little anticlimactic, there is a satisfying reality to it as the bird is bandaged, heals, and is set free. Because this is such a visual piece, however, readers, young and old, will return to the story to look more deeply; they won’t be disappointed. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The little kids love this book.
Donna Rodriguez
The dialogue is minimal, but the detailed artwork relays this story to the heart much more than any words could convey.
D. Fowler
Well, that kindness doesn't just entail people.....it includes being caring to the world around us.
Books That Heal Kids

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By The Well-Read Child on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The premise is simple. A young boy, Will, finds an injured bird unnoticed by everyone else in the big city. He and his mother take it home to nurse it back to health, and with a lot of love, care, and hope, the bird flies again. The text is sparse, yet powerful, and the soft and richly detailed illustrations of Will caring for the bird add an inspirational and heartwarming tone.

But what is best about this book is that it's about much more than a boy caring for an injured bird. It's about hope, dedication, healing, recovery, and beating the odds. But don't worry...the beauty of the book is that it does not contain "in-your-face" messaging. It's subtle yet powerful for those who may be seeking a little comfort. I shed a tear or two reading the book and would recommend giving it to anyone who has had or is going through a rough patch in their lives. This is one of the books that I think should be in everyone's library, not just a child's library. I highly highly recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover
It was the city and no one ever seems to notice anything there because with their fast paced lives they didn't have the time and so when the little pigeon injured himself flying into a glass window, no one noticed . . . except Will. He was trying to reach for the bird, but his mother appeared to be trying to hold him back. He finally got to him and his mother helped wrap him in a scarf to take him home.

You can't put back a feather, but sometimes a broken wing can be healed. Mom and Dad carefully placed the pigeon in a box. The pigeon had a splint on his wing. Will was going to count down the days on his calendar, but would the bird get better? Only time would tell and then he would know if the bird would ever fly again.

This charming and heartwarming book is a Red Clover nominee for the 2009-10 academic year. The dialogue is minimal, but the detailed artwork relays this story to the heart much more than any words could convey. The only thing left out is a rocking chair and a young child to share this lovely book with!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Robinson on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another good book from Bob Graham. This is a touching book with sparse text, the pictures tell the story. If you read 'Let's Get a Pup, Said Kate' and enjoyed it, you will appreciate this book even more. A warm tale pointing out that sometimes it doesn't really take much to make a real difference. Perhaps we should pause and notice a little more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cjcnyc on April 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I fell in love with this story the first time I read it. After many readings to my young students, this book still creates feelings of emotional attachment and caring for these amazing birds that share our city with us. I live in Queens and the wonderful illustrations of the city, especially lower Manhattan, make the setting of this book very personal. Pigeons are everywhere, but humans hardly notice them, because the species has adapted so well to our urban environment. I want all the children to whom I read this book to identify with the little boy and the pigeon. I hope that the message to all of us is that caring for the natural world surrounding us is essential to our humanity and survival. A great story for Earth Day or any day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sea54sea on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful story for children! An excellent way to have conversations about showing kindness to all living creatures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This poignant book tells the story of young Will and his parents, who find a hurt pigeon outside the subway and bring it home to care for it until it can fly again. The story is deceptively simple, but is presented with a depth of empathy that provokes reflection.

It isn't quite a wordless book, but artistically it's as good as one. Graham tells his story primarily through a skillful handling of perspective, color, and light, with comic-strip style inset frames to move story events along. His artistic style is reminiscent of Peter Spier's, with clean lines, simple colors, and good attention to human detail. His crowd scenes are large, filling the page with the masses of anonymous humanity, but each of his figures has a personality distinct from the others.

The story's greatest appeal may come from its gentle, nurturing family unit. Their warmth and security are conveyed through the parents' body language, the juxtaposition of their small home against the city skyscrapers, and the furnishings of their home, lined with child-bookcases, toys and child-art. They are supportive, generous, and compassionate, and their love overflows to the small creature temporarily sheltered in their home.

There is also a beautiful theme of taking responsibility for the creatures in our world, even in the heart of the big city. This will resonate with families who are passionate about biblical environmental stewardship (Genesis 1:28). The thought probably wasn't in the mind of the author, but a child who has read this book will bring a fresh understanding to Jesus' words about how God cares for even the most insignificant birds (Matthew 10:29-31). It's probably best for a preschool and early-elementary audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Books That Heal Kids on October 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As an elementary school counselor, I'm always reading stories showing kindness towards others. Well, that kindness doesn't just entail people.....it includes being caring to the world around us. Kids LOVE to be encouraged to be helpers. Sometimes I will see students going out of their way to meet the needs that arise around them. How to Heal a Broken Wing reminds me of those moments.

I love how the story starts.....with everyone walking the city streets too busy to notice an injured bird on the sidewalk. Well, everyone except a child named Will. He's a total hero in my opinion, so full of care, heart, and concern. Oh, and by the way, this is one of those reads where there is total silence in the room. The students are touched by Will as he helps the bird heal. He is setting a wonderful example for children that they have the power to do good deeds. A lot of students brought up the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. They commented how all living things have buckets, not just people. Sigh. I think there is a lot to explore in this book. It's new to my shelf, but I'm already letting the students thoughts and comments do the leading. You'll also love how the illustrations do the storytelling.
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