Name of Book: How to Heal a Broken Wing
Author: Bob Graham
Illustrator: Bob Graham
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Audience: Ages 6 – 11
Summary: How to Heal a Broken Wing is a lovely story of a young boy’s notice and care for a fallen and injured bird.
Literary Elements at Work: One of the most important literary elements at work in this story is the artistry. A nonreader could easily follow this story by following the illustrations. The words are almost secondary. Bob Graham uses height to demonstrate the bird’s fall. He uses perspective and color to demonstrate the child’s and the bird’s viewpoint, as well as to communicate feeling. For example, as the fallen bird lies injured and people are passing by, the illustrations are black and white. Will and the bird contain the only color until the bird is discovered by Will, taken home and cared for, begins to heal, and is released. Each page’s design contains setting, mood, character development, time, and exposition. Bob Graham’s artistic skill masterfully tells a rich and warm tale of healing.
Scripture: John 21:15-17
Theology: God loves us so deep and wide that God sent to us Jesus the Christ, who triumphed over sin and death for us. We love God when we feed and tend God’s “sheep,” creation—all of creation.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Sit beside your child, let her hold the book and turn the pages. Ask her to tell you what she sees on the first page, as she describes what she sees, point to objects; read the first page following the words with your fingers; let her follow the words with her finger. (You could cup her hand in yours and follow along together.) Repeat this process on each page.
- Talk about the colors you see and the colors you don’t see; notice the various perspectives (up high, down low); talk about where Will and his mom might be; notice all the different people who pass, ask, “What is she doing?” “Where do you think he is going?” “Is it hot or cold outside?” “How do you know?” “How come nobody else sees the bird?” “Do you think someone else would stop if he or she noticed?” “How does Will, his mom, and his dad care for the bird during the daytime?” “How does Will, his mom, and his dad care for the bird during the nighttime?” “How long does Will, his mom, and his dad care for the bird?” “How do you know?” “What happens to the bird?” (When you ask what happens to the bird, go back to page one and let your child retell the story, point out the bird in each picture.) “Who made birds?” “Who made Will?” “Who made you?” “Who made me?” Say, “I think caring for birds is showing love for God. What do you think?” “How else can we show love for God?”
- Visit the Carolina Raptor Center. They rehab injured birds that people find and bring in. Each bird at the Raptor Center has its story. Ask about the birds’ stories. Ask what you can do to support their work.
Review prepared by Kim Lee, MACE, Entering Cohort Fall 2007
For another review of this same title, see the post on November 3, 2009.
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.