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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story Paperback – October 1, 1995


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A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story + Opus n' Bill in A Wish for Wings That Work
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316106917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316106917
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 10.2 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With the help of Santa, Opus, the slightly neurotic penguin star of two of Breathed's comic strips, finally gets to fly; PW said, "Breathed achieves just the right balance of sweetness and levity." All ages.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

The creator of the popular Bloom County comic strip takes up the well-worn theme of an animal who helps Santa. Opus is a penguin who longs to fly, but it's his swimming strength that makes him a hero after Santa's sleigh falls in a lake after the harness breaks. Reward: Santa's praise plus a ride aloft, borne by his friends the snow ducks. Nothing new here, but the story is told with competence and energy; the lavish mixed-media illustrations (airbrush smooth, cartoon style) have plenty of witty details. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Berkeley Breathed lives and works in Santa Barbara, California and is the proud owner of a gentle pit bull named Ridley, a deaf dachshund named Milly, and a refugee mutt from the Puerto Rican streets named Pilar--splendidly flawed dogs, every one.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 44 customer reviews
Great story, great illustrations, just a wonderful book.
Robert J Testa
We have owned a copy of this book for years and bring it out every Christmas even though our children are grown.
Books for Life
The Opus children's books are all fabulous, and everyone, adults and children both, should read them.
Beckykrum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Somerlot Bittel on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
My husband and I bought this book long ago- when it was just the two of us- before diapers, midnight wailings, etc. This Christmas our 4 and 5 year old found it sitting dustily on a shelf while making a secret and somewhat sneaky foray into mommy and daddy's bookcase. Imagine their surprise at finding a "kids book" among all those with just words. Opus has been read every night since. And the message of this wonderful story has not been lost. Although we've had to discuss why Opus is okay with not getting his own set of wings that work, I think the message of being happy with and making the most of the gifts you already have has been recorded somewhere in their little brains.

Anyway- Opus stands the test of time. If you grown ups have it tucked away somewhere gathering dust get this book out and share Opus with someone newer to this world. And have a Merry Christmas!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eric Johnson on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Berkeley Breathed has some of the most richly animated stories I've ever seen. I owned this book for a couple of years before I realized how great the illustrations in this book were. After working in a primary school library and reading various stories to the little kids, I realized that Breathed's books were far superior to most of the others. The detail and color present in this story takes a back seat to only the story itself. This is, perhaps, the best Christmas story I've read, and it's one that children really respond to. Who can't relate to feeling inferior to others and wanting to be different? Opus has this problem. He's a penguin who wants to fly. It's not until his unique talents are needed that his dreams of flying can come true.
The story has a great compliment of characters including: Bill the Cat, some snow ducks, and Ronald Ann. They all (in some way) try to help Opus, but the help comes from the least likely source. This is a great story that children will love to hear every year, and one that the parents will look forward to hearing every year. It's not trite and it's not purile. It's a good story with great pictures that should be in everyone's library.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2004
Format: Library Binding
This is a delightful tale about Christmas, wishes and reality. Opus the penguin laments the fact that he cannot fly like the snow ducks. Therefore, he writes a letter to Santa Claus asking for wings that work. Before going to bed on the night before Christmas, he tells a snow duck that he will be flying on Christmas morning. However, as Santa is making his rounds, there is a malfunction of the sleigh connections and the sleigh is disconnected from the pulling reindeer. Santa's sleigh begins to sink in a cold, icy lake and Opus is awakened.
He dives into the lake and swims like he never swam before. Clutching a towrope in his beak, he pulls the sleigh to land. Santa then tells him "I see no penguins here, whose wings only sputter. Tonight it was courage that flew yours beyond others." The next morning a group of snow ducks arrives and carries Opus into the air.
The moral of the story is that when we are wishing for new skills or possessions, we should never lose sight of the value of that we already have. It is done very well and fits well into the general spirit of the Christmas season.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
everytime I read this story. This is my favorite Christmas story of all time. As a third grade teacher, I always save this book for the last day before vacation. When Opus flies through the water to save the day for Santa and his sleigh, I can see the wonderment in my students' eyes as they are hoping ( as I am) that he will make it. A happy ending that makes us laugh along with Opus and all his bowtied, feathered friends. I highly recommend this book for all ages- a feel good story!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I take this book out only at Christmas (yes, it's my copy). I've run it thru 9 neices and nephews now. They absolutely love it! They ask for it. My one neice memorized every word of it (before she could read it herself). She would recite it with me as I read.
This is an adorable little Christmas story with an adorable message for young children. The art is wonderful. And the main character is our good friend, Opus the Penguine
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Martin on August 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
i wholeheartedly agree with the other adults and one child(what does that tell you?) who love this book! i own it on video, as well. it is one of our christmas traditions, even if i have to do it alone. it is classic breathed..it is quirky, sarcastic and very heartfelt. don't you just cry at the end? i do!!!

i also feel it's a wonderful testament to two things. one, of course, is what we wish for. we may not get exactly what we want, but we eventually get seems to fill the void nicely. two, where would we get without friends who can make our wishes come true?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "tall_guy_03" on March 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. It shows how you don't often realize how valuable some things actually are. Opus wanted wings that would work. He was a penguin, so his wings didn't work. He didn't realize how valuable his ability to swim actually was. Santa's sleigh broke away from the reindeer and he was stranded in the middle of the water. Opus was the only one able to help him. He did, and Santa thanked him and told him how valuable his swimming ability was. Christmas morning, he woke up, and hundreds of snow ducks took him up in the air. It was almost as if he was flying. He really enjoyed it. He ended up "flying" on Christmas morning. I definitely recommend this story to anyone that wants a good book to read.
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