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

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Library Binding, August 28, 2007
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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.
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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: 9.1 x 0.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,266,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am echoing some others that are just not liking the message sent in this book.
Part of it is great- he gives his feathers to those in need, etc. However, he has friends that treat him horribly until he looks just like them, and then he is accepted by them. Well... forget them! What kind of friends are those? So we should only accept those who "fit in"?
I did NOT like this book.
I will probably be giving it to charity or the garbage can.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Leo Lionni books are classics and I am sad that I only recently found them. All of his books inspire the imagination of children and get them thinking about moral, or difficult issues (sometimes without them even knowing it).
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Format: Paperback
My wife recently took this book out from the library and I read it to my young boys.
As I was reading I became quite disturbed. The birds begin by the birds leaving Tico alone
as he cannot fly. They cheerfully go on their adventures and bring him back some leftovers.
When in a moment of desperation wishes for wings so he too can fly, he is granted golden wings.
This causes his "friends" no small amount of jealousy and envy. They accuse Tico of wanting to be
better than them and leave him alone. It is only after he becomes exactly like them, that he is once
again accepted into the group.
1) If they were his friends, why didn't one stay with him in the beginning to keep him company.
2) Tico never wanted to be better, just have what they did, freedom.
3) In order to please them, Tico has to adapt to their standards.
This book is basically advocating that we all must be the same and if we are different, we should
be shunned for our differences.
What a message to teach our young and impressionable children.
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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.
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