Little wing by Katherine Battersby

cover image

UQP, 2016. ISBN 9780702254000
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Belonging. Books. Birds. Little Wing lived on a small island. He was very smart and when a trunk filled with books washed up on his island, he read them all. They taught him how to read and write, how to calculate, all about science, and about almost everything else in the world. But there was one problem. No where in all of his books was there something like him.
He read them all twice. He wasn't a lizard, he wasn't a fish, and neither could he fly. Each day he tried out to be something he had seen in his books, until one day something flew past that looked just like him. He used all of his new skills to learn to fly and follow the bird. He joined the other bird on another island and he knew where he belonged.
Accompanied by full colour illustrations, children will love looking at Little Wing and working out where he belongs. They will enjoy recognising the different iconic images shown in the book, reflecting Little Bird's attempts to find out just who he is, and rejoice at the emphasis placed upon books for fun and research.
I enjoyed the endpapers with their summation of being alone and then being one amongst many, using the images of feathers to show how his isolation has finished.
Many discussions could emanate from reading this story: of being together, of being with people of like minds, of belonging and finding a place where you belong. And of course of the importance of books in our lives.
Fran Knight