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).
Full Review (1035 words).
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 ...
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