How to Heal a Broken Wing

by Bob Graham

“High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass.”... read more

“High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass.” A dramatic story slowly unfolds in this spellbinding picture book that follows the fate of an injured pigeon. No one sees the bird fall onto a busy city sidewalk. No one notices it lying there until a young boy named Will comes up from the subway. “A loose feather can’t be put back . . . but a broken wing can sometimes heal.” The bird is taken home at Will’s insistence, and is carefully tended by the boy and his parents before a triumphant return to the city and release into the sky. The marvelous visual storytelling includes full-page and double-page spreads varying with multiple panels on a single page, revealing in fine detail the striking moments and affecting scenes. Will is always easy to find in a bright red coat or shirt that singles him out from the gray city streets and their inhabitants, and from his more soberly attired parents at home. The entire color palette shifts to brighter hues as the bird’s healing progresses. What might have been an effective wordless book takes on an even greater richness and emotional weight with an elegantly spare narrative in which every word matters. Winner, 2009 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 3–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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