Review Blog

Oct 15 2008

How to heal a broken wing by Bob Graham

cover image

Walker Books, 2008
(Age 5-10) Recommended. Bob Graham brings us another one of his thought provoking and caring picture books. Young Will is the only person who notices a bird lying on the ground with a broken wing. He carefully picks it up, and with his mother's help, wraps a scarf around it and takes it home in his mother's handbag. He finds that 'With rest, and time, and a little hope a bird may fly again,' even if a loose feather can't be put back.

Sparsely worded, the beautiful cartoon like illustrations must be examined closely to uncover all the nuances of the story, with its emphasis on how one small boy, supported by loving parents, can make a difference. Every picture has a subtle message, with grey washes capturing the impersonal feel of the skyscrapers and the uncaring nature of the crowds in the street. Graham colours Will in a bright red jacket, making him stand out as a lighthouse of hope against the greys of the city pavement. Will's house is brightly coloured and also emphasises the love and hope found there.

This is memorable story about one small boy's ability to notice what is happening around him and how he reacts with compassion and love.
Pat Pledger

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