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How to Heal a Broken Wing

by Bob Graham

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2008
40 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3903-7

Ages 3-8

“High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass.” A dramatic story slowly unfolds in just a handful of carefully weighted words 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 him 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 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 and multiple panels on a single page that detail 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. But what might have been an effective wordless book takes on an even greater richness and nuance by the elegantly spare and emotionally charged narrative in which every word matters. (Ages 3-8) Winner, 2009 Charlotte Zolotow Award (MS)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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