Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Book I Could Read a Million Times

HOW TO HEAL A BROKEN WING by Bob Graham is being added to my list of "Books I Could Read a Million Times". I have read this book to several classes at the library and would be happy to read it to 100 more classes if I could. It is a great book.

HOW TO HEAL A BROKEN WING begins like this:"High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass.". How about that for a powerful lead? The story goes on to tell about Will, the only person in the city who noticed that a bird had fallen and was hurt. This book is the story of Will's work in helping the bird to heal in the midst of all of the others who were too busy to notice.

The brilliance of this book is partly in the illustrations. The book does not have many words. Just a short line on each page. So, as a reader, you need to read both the pictures and the words to get the whole message. And the illustrations are amazing--I can't even explain all that Graham does with the pictures.

This is a great book for talk. Reading it to many different grades over the week, there were definite patterns. By page 2, the class was silent and glued to the book. The look of horror at a bird falling and being hurt was common. As a reader, you feel lots of emotions in this book and the kids' faces showed each one. Without giving away the ending too much, I will tell you that several classes clapped at the end. You just feel the need to celebrate the ending of the book in some way.

This book is good for every age--preschool, elementary, adults. I can't really think of an audience that wouldn't appreciate it.
It is really a must-have.

Other reviews: Katie at Creative Literacy
We Heart Books
Mother Reader

(This is on the Cybils Short List so we'll see if it wins when the winners are announced later this week! Crossing my fingers for this one!)


  1. Thanks for this! Adding it to my Amazon cart right....NOW. :)

  2. Wow! This one sounds lovely!

  3. Thanks for letting us know! Gems like that do not appear often...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  4. Great review, makes me want (need?) to read this book. I like your point about a book being good for talking -- I love that in a book, where sometimes it's best as a springboard for all the lively thoughts and ideas and feelings it engenders.

    James Preller

  5. Anonymous7:21 PM

    I couldn't agree more. It will indeed be interesting to see if it wins the Cybil later this week. I liked hearing that you were reading it to students and that it was successful. I always wonder how books with few words will play as a read aloud, so thanks for sharing.

  6. I'd put it as one of my favorite picture books ever. It is perfect - and only becomes more amazing each time I look at it. As the family works to help the bird, the TV in the background shows Navy Jets flying off to fight.

    I'm also curious, like Travis, how it worked as a read aloud. Between the sparse text and the smallish pictures, I saw it more as a one-on-one book.


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