In a rainy town in the north of England, there are strange goings-on. Dad is building a pair of wings, eating flies, and feathering his nest. Auntie Doreen is getting cross and making dumplings. Contest barker Mr. Poop is parading the streets shouting louder and louder, and even Mr. Mint, the headmaster, is not quite himself. And watching it all is Lizzie, missing her mam and looking after Dad by letting him follow his newfound whimsy.
From an inspired creative pairing comes a story of the Great Human Bird Competition -- a poignant, exuberant tale of the healing power of flights of fancy, and a very special father-and-daughter bond.
Join a young girl and her dad as they find their wings and take to the skies in a joyful, quirky, tender tale from a masterful author and illustrator.
This bittersweet and nimbly-illustrated tale of a wise girl whose bird-brained father attempts to rise above earthly sorrow will lift the spirits of readers young and old. Almond has written a fable and the language is poem-like, even delicate, throughout. Children will enjoy reading about silly grownups and wise kids. Adults, more keenly mortal, will, with a pang, recognize Lizzie's father's impulse to, as Robert Frost put in his poem "Birches, " …get away from earth awhile/And then come back to it and begin over." (Reviewed by Jo Perry).
Almond aims at a younger audience than usual, but crafts a tale at least as emotionally complex as any of his heavier outings...readers will definitely come away with mixed feelings-not necessarily a bad thing, to be sure. Ages 10-12.
The Times - Nicholette Jones
Polly Dunbar’s colourful, circusy illustrations bring out the fun and sweetness of this fable, which will make children laugh while encouraging them to believe in themselves and others and to tolerate strangeness.
The Times - Amanda Craig My Dad's a Birdman is an enchantingly wise, funny and subversive book. The lucid, comical, brightly coloured illustrations by Polly Dunbar owe much to Quentin Blake, and strike just the right note. Children of 5 to 7 will love it, but the ones who should take it most to heart are adults. I fear it will preach only to the converted, but if you know a depressed child, or a despairing parent, this could be just the ticket.
Aeronautical engineer and inventor
(1925-2007) earned the title
"birdman" becoming internationally known in 1977 as the "father of
human-powered flight" when his Gossamer Condor made the first sustained,
controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft powered solely by its pilot's
muscles. For the feat he received the $95,000 Henry Kremer Prize; and the Condor is
now housed at the
Two years later, his team created the Gossamer Albatross, another 70-pound craft with a 96-foot wingspan that, with DuPont sponsorship, achieved a human-powered flight
across the English Channel. That flight, made by "pilot-engine" Bryan Allen,
took almost three hours. It won the new Kremer prize of $213,000, at the time
the largest cash prize in aviation history.
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