Book Review: How to Heal a Broken Wing
Hello, Iâ€™m the cast that Travis wore when he broke his arm in 4th grade. Since I havenâ€™t been busy healing fractures since the late â€˜80s, Iâ€™ve really become quite a reader. I want to let you know about a great book, How to Heal a Broken Wing.
Wait! How did you get my account information? I didnâ€™t say you could post a review. Youâ€™re just a cast! Youâ€™ve never even written a review before!
Just a cast? I saved you. Similar to how Will saves an injured pigeon in the book I was just about to eloquently critique.
Oh, youâ€™re reviewing How to Heal a Broken Wing? Well, I loved that book tooâ€¦
So you approve? Shall I continue?
Alright, but Iâ€™m not taking part. Iâ€™m gonna go finish watching Iron Chef.
No complaints here.
Compassion is a difficult thing for kids to wrap their heads around. Sure some are seemingly born with the instinct to understand suffering and have a desire to help alleviate it, but this isnâ€™t always the case. How to Heal a Broken Wing expertly takes on the concept of compassion and makes it tangible. Itâ€™s a wonderful thing to behold when a picture book simplifies something so complicated.
(From across the room) Agreed.
Pigeons run into windows every day. People hardly take notice. Will, while walking out of the subway with his mother, sees one such bird and convinces his mom to bring it home. Over the next few days, Will and his parents work together to nurse the pigeon back to health. Once their job is done, Will releases the bird back where it belongs.
Yeah! It sounds simple bu-
Well, look who wants to get in on the review now! Mr. â€œIâ€™m an Expertâ€. Please Mr. Expert, bestow upon us your insightful opinions.
Iâ€™m going to go ahead and ignore your tone on that. What I was going to say is that the beauty of this one is in the details. Author/illustrator Bob Graham tells the story almost entirely through his pen, watercolor, and chalk illustrations. Pages are often broken into panels, making the story appear to be a cross between picture book and comic. While the characters appear cartoonish, the mood is earnest. Text is sprinkled in occasionally, skipping pages at a time. While the words add richness and will help to guide readers, the art is such that the story would hold up even without them, making this story appropriate even for very young children.
Mr. 2Â¢ is right. The themes and illustration combine to make this a must-add book.
Alright, you did a pretty good job, but no more posting reviews without my okay first.
Fine. May I please post my next review on Chasing the rodeo: On Wild Rides and Big Dreams, Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, and One Man’s Search for the West?
Also reviewed by Mother Reader.
This book made the Cybils fiction picture book shortlist.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
SLJ Blog Network