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Wings Hardcover – October 1, 2000
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Christopher Myers, who illustrated the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Black Cat and the Caldecott Honor Book Harlem shines in this simple, lovely tribute to individualism, encouraging his young readers to dare to fly too close to the sun despite the warnings of the mythological Icarus. "Ikarus Jackson can fly through the air; I want kids to find their own set of wings and soar with him," says Myers. His masterful cut-paper collages capture the odd, crazy beauty of Ikarus's big white wings and the dizzying perspectives of a boy who is flying over rooftops. Urban landscapes are represented by cut photos of fencing, brownstones, and photo-booth portraits, while the sky in one spread is a sea of fuschia roses. Wings is a wonderfully expressive pairing of story and illustration. (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
came to my school last Thursday.
His long, strong, proud wings followed
where he went."
But people don't get it. They snicker and sneer and drive Ikarus to the top of an apartment building to sit "with the pigeons." Because "pigeons don't make fun of people." In a sort of "emperor's new clothes" moment, a young girl calls out "what someone should have long ago: "Your flying is beautiful."" That seems to be what Ikarus needs to break free of his self-doubts and insecurities and soar.
Christopher Myers' collages have an Ezra Jack Keats meets Romare Bearden feel to them. Look closer and images appear within the images. I wondered about the significance of these secondary images, but not knowing made them all the more appealing.
Wings is a book to explore and enjoy.
Teachers accuse Ikarus of being a “distraction”, boys snicker about his “useless” wings at recess, and children label him as a “show-off” when he excels at basketball. The narrator observes that their harsh words and actions “send Ikarus farther and farther away.” She reflects, as the reader will, upon her own experiences with those mean kids; wondering why she didn’t say anything, when she knew she should have stood up for Ikarus. She realizes what she must do, and runs and searches the skies for the amazing fly boy, only to find his head hung low, seeking the company of pigeons because “pigeons don’t make fun of people.” The turning point in the book occurs finally after a policeman yells at Ikarus to get down from the roof top and the children laugh at him. The young girl who has witnessed the cruelty of the children yells, “Stop! Leave him alone” And they did. Ikarus smiles at his new friend and is finally able to spread his wings and fly to new heights. The book ends on a very uplifting note as the young girl watches Ikarus fly above a symbolic bridge exclaiming, “Look at that amazing boy!Read more ›
The story is a sad one, but with a rather happy and hopeful end, undoubtedly guaranteed to give its readers a surge of joy and inspiration, and courage to speak up for those who can't. At least, that's what it did for me and my boys—and our little visitors that day.
Wings is about a boy named Ikarus Jackson, who clearly stands out from the crowd. Because he has wings, the kids in his neighbourhood, at school, and even his teacher neither understand nor accept him, and are very quick to judge and point their fingers. Ikarus goes from a fun-loving child at the beginning of the story, to a much sadder one later on, after all the snickering and isolation finally get to him.
One girl, a quiet girl, thinks Ikarus is amazing. She watches as the others mock Ikarus Jackson and exclude him from their games. She feel bad for him; she knows what it feels like to be left out because you're different.
The author illustrates at the end of the story what a difference one person's courage to speak up can make in another person's life, a difference which ripples through the communities we live in, and eventually the world.
A beautiful book about kindness and courage; a must-read for everyone, young and old!
This review first appeared on My Quiet Adventures
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I checked this book out at my local library for my girls. My 2 1/2 year old has had me read it more than 10 times (not kidding) and she asked for it by name. I enjoyed it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great story and material to teach kids an important lesson without being too obvious what we are trying to do. Read morePublished 13 months ago by J. Wang
This book is a great discussion starter on the negative effects of bullying & how important it is to find your voice in speaking out against it!Published on May 24, 2014 by Kellie
Christopher Meyeres always makes beautiful books/illustrations. The story in this book, Wings, is so deep. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Katherine CLARK
It is so abstract it could be brilliant. If you read it in a very solemn tone and pause on every page dramatically it can be a good experience for you and your child (unless your... Read morePublished on October 25, 2013 by KhMU
I could not remember the name of this book for a while, but "Duh!"... it came to me this morning. Wings! This book touched me so much that I haven't forgotten about it. Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by Ali G
I ordered this book for a third grade girls book club at an elementary school. The book is well written, beautifully illustrated, and has a positive message!Published on October 16, 2012 by Jacqi
I am an avid person when it comes to flight and I have a passion for being free as a bird. But a few weeks ago I passed by my local book store and saw in the window this very same... Read morePublished on March 30, 2011 by Dairy Farmer
Wings is a beautiful story about a boy named Ikarus who has wings. The wings are a liability to most people but finally others begin to see the benefits to his wings. Read morePublished on October 25, 2010 by Lynn Ellingwood