WINGS by Christopher Myers
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 5 - 9
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Myers (Black Cat, 1999, etc.) comes into his own as a children’s-book writer, as well as illustrator, with his second solo picture book. A girl narrates as a new kid arrives in the neighborhood. Ikarus Jackson is different; he has wings. “The whole school / was staring eyes and wagging tongues. / They whispered about his wings / and his hair and his shoes. / Like they whisper about how quiet I am.” As the derision of his classmates and neighbors drag him down, she tells him “what someone should have long ago: / ‘Your flying is beautiful.’ ” Myers’s language is natural and specific, with precise line breaks. His single-page, white-framed, cut-paper collage illustrations are full of texture that is set off by solid-color silhouettes. The few short lines of text per page are set low, and occasional small, square-framed illustrations of the narrator are set in corners, giving a sense of distance, isolation, and of looking to the sky. The overall block-like design mirrors the blocks of cut-paper Myers builds his backgrounds and buildings with, and his sharp edges and contrasts depict a crowded city neighborhood full of heat and life. Carefully designed from front to end in word and picture, immediate and everyday but unusual and unique in tone, this book, with its simple story of the problems (and pleasures!) of being different, stands out in its field as splendidly as Ikarus himself. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-590-03377-8
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2000


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