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Tico and the Golden Wings Library Binding – August 28, 2007


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Library Binding, August 28, 2007
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394917499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394917498
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,180,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A lovely, satisfying parable of beauty and generosity . . . richly evocative of Far Eastern Art.” —The New York Times

“The beauty of this book lies . . . in its luxury, its aesthetic, its gorgeous densely colored patterns of trees and ushes, and the birds themselves.” —The Boston Globe

“Children will take the hopes and wishes of the little bird born without wings to their hearts. . . . A lovely book, and one that cannot but leave a lasting impression.” —The Saturday Review

“Truly a beautiful book.” —McCalls


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

All Tico the wingless bird wants is a pair of golden wings to carry him up over the mountaintops. But when Tico's wish is granted, none of his friends will talk to him. What's so wrong with being different? Tico wonders all alone. One day Tico helps a crying man by giving him one of his golden feathers. A black feather appears in its place. Each day he gives a feather away to someone in need until his golden wings are as black as India ink. When Tico returns to his friends, they are all relieved to see him. "Now you are just like us," they say. But Tico knows there is more to him than the color of his wings. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

author spotlight
"From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge."--Leo Lionni

Leo Lionni wrote and illustrated more than 40 highly acclaimed children's books. He received the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was a four-time Caldecott Honor Winner--for Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Leo Lionni died in October of 1999 at his home in Tuscany, Italy, at the age of 89.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

"Of all the questions I have been asked as an author of children's books, the most frequent one, without doubt, has been 'How do you get your ideas?' Most people seem to think that getting an idea is both mysterious and simple. Mysterious, because inspiration must come from a particular state of grace with which only the most gifted souls are blessed. Simple, because ideas are expected to drop into one's mind in words and pictures, ready to be transcribed and copied in the form of a book, complete with endpapers and cover. The word get expresses these expectations well. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

"It is true that, from time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge. The sense of instant recognition with which we pull this image into the full light of our consciousness is the initial impulse of all creative acts. But, though it is important, it produces no more than the germ of an idea. Each book, at the birth of its creative history, has such a moment. Some are fortunate enough to have, from the outset, a strongly identified hero, one with an inescapable destiny. Others are blessed with a promising beginning, or perhaps with the vision of an ending (which means working backwards to a surprise opening). Others stem from a clearly articulated conflict situation. Sometimes, I must admit, the motivations of a book may be found in a sudden, unreasonable urge to draw a certain kind of crocodile. And it may even happen that in the dark of our minds there appears, out of nowhere, a constellation of words that has the bright, arrogant solidity of a title. Only last night I was jolted out of a near-slumber by the words the mouse that didn't exist. I am sure that, temporarily tucked away in my memory, they will eventually become the title of a story for which as yet I have no idea.

"To shape and sharpen the logic of a story, to tighten the flow of events, ultimately to define the idea in its totality, is much like a game of chess. In the light of overall strategy, each move is the result of doubts, proposals, and rejections, which inevitably bring to mind the successes or failures of previous experiences.

"Inspirational raptures may happen, but most books are shaped through hard, disciplined work. Creative work, to be sure, because its ingredients come from the sphere of the imaginary. But the manipulation of these ingredients requires much more than mere inclination or talent. It is an intricate process in which the idea slowly takes form, by trial and error, through detours and side roads, which, were it not for the guidance of professional rigor, would lead the author into an inextricable labyrinth of alternatives.

"And so, to the question 'How do you get your ideas?' I am tempted to answer, unromantic though it may sound, 'Hard work.' "


Leo Lionni has gained international renown for his paintings, graphic designs, illustrations, and sculpture, as well as for his books for children. He was born in Holland in 1910 of Dutch parents, and although his education did not include formal art courses (in fact, he has a doctorate in economics from the University of Genoa), he spent much of his free time as a child in Amsterdam's museums, teaching himself to draw.

Lionni's business training gradually receded into the background as his interest in art and design grew. Having settled in Milan soon after his marriage in 1931, he started off by writing about European architecture for a local magazine. It was there that he met the contacts who were to give him a start as a professional graphic designer. When he moved to America in 1939, Lionni was hired by a Philadelphia advertising agency as art director. Later he became design director for the Olivetti Corporation of America, and then art director for Fortune magazine. At the same time, his reputation as an artist flourished as he began to exhibit his paintings and drawings in galleries from New York to Japan.

Lionni launched his career as an author/illustrator of books for children in 1959. Originally developed from a story he had improvised for his grandchildren during a dull train ride, Little Blue and LittleYellow was the first of what is now a long list of children's picture books, including four Caldecott Honor Books.

Customer Reviews

His story remains sweet and all the characters remain likeable.
D. Blankenship
In the end, Tico returns to his friends, who are thrilled to see him with wings just like theirs.
slomamma
Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful relevant message - I would even say that this book is perfect.
Ariel Dochstader Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've been reading books to children for almost two decades, and Leo Lionni's books have always been among my favorites. They're simple in the same way that the parables of Jesus are simple - the meaning of the stories is immediately clear, yet they are deep and wise, and the stories stay with you forever.
Tico and the Golden Wings is not one of Lionni's best known books (Swimmy and Frederick probably fill that category - and both of them are terrific), but it's one of my favorites. It's about a bird born without wings, who cannot fly like his friends. The friends are kind to him, but he feels left out because he cannot do the things they do. Wishing for wings, he gets his wish, but the wings are made of gold. As Tico flies around the world, he encounters people with great needs and tries to help them by giving each of them one of the gold feathers from his wings. His reward for this generosity is to grow a real feather for every golden one he gives away.
In the end, Tico returns to his friends, who are thrilled to see him with wings just like theirs. They think he is now just like them, but Tico nurtures an understanding that his thoughts and experiences are not like those of his friends, that inside he is still different.
The message is simple: you can care about others and still nurture your own indivuality. What is special about this book, though, is not just the lovely and wise message, but the fact that it remains lovely, and not the least bit cloying or preachy, after hundreds of readings. You can read this book to any three or four year old who has enough experience with books to sit still for a quiet story, and continue reading it to him or her for years, knowing the child will get more out of it each time he or she hears it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adriana on March 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This story line is familiar if you've read The Rainbow Fish, but Tico pre-dates that story. Tico is also a more profound, developed story. Happy, re-assuring ending. Sensitive and precient in this age of me me me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
A lovely story. Thoughtful. Sometimes having what we wish for is not nearly as important as giving. Our value comes from within. A story I look forward to sharing with my nephews and grandchildren.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C.D.King on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Same story as Rainbow Fish, but told with a bird. My kids liked it, and it showed the bird gave away golden feathers to those in need which is a nice message. But I did not like the other message, that if you are different the other birds won't like you. His friends shunned him for his golden wings. Then when he gave them all away and looked like them with plain wings, his friends accepted him. They should like him the way he is and not be haters.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Of the many works; children's books, created by Leo Lionni it would be extremely difficult to find much, if anything, to find fault with. Tico and the Golden Wings, one of Lionni's lesser known works, is no exception. This particular work was first published in 1964, went through several reprints and rereleases and now we have the 1992 Alfred A. Knopf edition. This is the one being reviewed here. I must say that the Knopf people did justice to this one, as it is a most beautiful hard cover edition.

As with many to most of Lionni's stories, this is at first appearance a simple parable and this is one of the seveal secrets to this author's success...what appears simple is not necessarily so, and the message is quite profound; yet at the same time perfectly understandable to the young reader.

Tico is a bird, much like any other bird but alas, he has no wings. He cannot fly...he cannot soar; he is different from the other birds. The other birds love him though and take care of him as all good friends and mates should. they bring him berries and fruit to eat and watch over him. Still and all, Tico is sad and dearly wants wings so that he can do what birds do.

As he slept one night, a strange bird, one who is pale as a pearl with glorious wings arrives and informs our wingless little friend that "I am the wishingbird." Of course Tico wishes for wings and low and behold he his presented with a beautiful pair of gorgeous golden wings. All is well and our little bird is able to fly; to sour higher and higher. Upon his return from his wonderful flight Tico joins the other birds and notes they act different. They frowned at him and informed him that "you think you are better than we are, don't you, with those golden wings...you wanted to be different.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grannyman on January 7, 2008
Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
Library bound edition very high quality. Wonderful to have a new copy of a very memorable story from my childhood to share with my children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book for primary aged children. Exquisite illustrations accompany this story about a small creature coping with a big change.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Samuel on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The main message of this book is that you should not be different, because if you are you will be rejected by your peers. This is not a message I want to transmit to my children.
The only good point about this book is the art. It is really beautiful. The best use for this book is to cut pictures for paper craft, scrap booking, ext.
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