King of the Sky

by Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin

A young boy who’s emigrated from Rome to Wales feels alone and alienated. Nothing... read more

A young boy who’s emigrated from Rome to Wales feels alone and alienated. Nothing is familiar to him except the pigeons he sees in a loft behind his house. They’re being raised by elderly Mr. Evans, and the boy and man forge a friendship over their mutual interest in the birds. Mr. Evans tells the boy he developed a love of pigeons himself during all the years he was working in a coal mine. He liked seeing the birds fly after all the days spent underground. The boy learns about racing pigeons—and about life in general—as his loneliness and sense of displacement ease. A bird he and Mr. Evans call King of the Sky is the one they enter in a race from Rome (the birds are taken by train) back to Wales, and the wait for the bird’s return—will it return?—is agonizing and heartfelt in this soaring work in which the idea of “home” transforms. Intimate, soft illustrations portray the gentle friendship between the two, and expansive double-page spreads of the flying birds capture all the majesty and drama of their flights. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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