Bob Graham has written and illustrated many acclaimed children's picture books, including Max (9780744598278), which won the 2000 Smarties Gold Medal, and Jethro Byrde, Fairy Child (9781844284825), which won the 2003 Kate Greenaway Medal. He has won the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award an unprecedented three times.
"High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass," begins Graham ("Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate). And no one notices the wounded pigeon that falls to the sidewalk--until Will comes along. In this sparsely worded story, Will and his parents nurse the pigeon to health and then release him back into the sky. Graham breaks his watercolor-and-ink cartoons into full-bleed spreads and large and small comics-like panels, enabling him to dwell on each moment of tender loving care and to preach patience: the "x"s entered on a wall calendar and a series of drawings depicting the phases of the moon show readers that the pigeon's recovery takes a good month. The solemnity and earnestness with which the family goes about the task may exasperate some grown-ups; it's a pigeon, after all. But many readers will savor the way Will's parents unquestioningly rally around him, and appreciate the opportunity to imagine themselves as selfless healers. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"* "Simply magical." Junior on Jethro Byrde, Fairy Child (9781844284825)."
K-Gr 2-Poignantly told and visually rich, this narrative flies high. When a pigeon breaks its wing, no one notices except Will. Sporting a bright red jacket, starkly contrasted against his drab surroundings, he and his parents take the injured creature into their home. Clean lines and effective panels showcase its steady recovery, readily receiving encouragement from the family along the way. Graham's succinct text masterfully reveals the bird's resilience. "A loose feather can't be put back/but a broken wing can sometimes heal." Pen, watercolor, and chalk illustrations add depth to this tender tale as the injured bird wistfully watches a flock of flyers outside Will's window. Exemplary use of color and perspective denote shifting moods, and thin lines enhance the vulnerability of this boy and his bird. Gently expressed and honestly delivered, this quiet, yet powerful story provides young readers with an affirming conclusion.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayatteville, NC Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.