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A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story Paperback – October 1, 1995

4.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 1, 1995
$61.47 $0.01

Realistic fiction for tweens
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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.
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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: 9.5 x 0.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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By A Customer 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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been in my family since I was little. Mom would read this to us every Christmas before going to bed on Christmas Eve. The story tells people that being different doesn't mean you are useless, but you can shine in a different way instead.

The artwork is amazing in this book that captivates both young and old with details and color, and still maintain the humor we know from Breathed at the same time.

I have always recommended this book to friends, family, when I work in school libraries, and give it as gifts at baby showers.
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By A Customer on December 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
i have read this book to my son since he was three years old [ he's now almost 8] and he still loves it. a great and gentle christmas story along with wonderful illustrations. good for adults too, especially those of us who loved opus from the bloom county comic strip.
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