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Tico and the Golden Wings

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  302 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Tico, a little bird born without wings, is one day granted his dearest wish. But the wings he gets are made of gold and his bird friends turn against him. “You think you are better than we are,” they say. What Tico does with his golden feathers—and the important lesson he learns—is a fable that children will take to their hearts.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1964)
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Picture Books About Kindness
33rd out of 71 books — 24 voters
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34th out of 80 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 558)
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Jul 07, 2014 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a wingless bird whose friends have to care for him because he can't fend for himself. What nice friends!
Or are they?
When Tico's dreams come true in the form of a lovely pair of golden wings, Tico's friends reveal themselves for who they really are: Jerks. Now that he doesn't depend on them, now that his wings are shiny and beautiful, now that he has found happiness in flight, the friends decide Tico is uppity and feels superior to them, despite him having neither said nor imp
Sara Larson
May 19, 2013 Sara Larson rated it it was amazing
Genre: Modern fantasy
Age: 4 and up
Summary: Tico is a bird who is born with no wings. His friends take care of him, and bring him food. One day, a wishing bird tells Tico that he has one wish. Tico chooses a pair of golden wings. Instantly the golden wings appear, and Tico begins to fly. Tico's friends are upset when they see his fancy golden wings, they think he is showing off. Tico's friends leave him all alone. he begins to fly around meeting people. He discovers that his feathers are magic, a
K.J. Joyner
Aug 26, 2009 K.J. Joyner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
When I was a small child, this book was in my elementary school library. I checked it out every week. Through it I learned the art of sharing, which wasn't hard for me. I've always been someone who enjoys sharing. So I guess I simply related to Tico and his big heart.

Years later after finally rediscovering the name of the book I went through a lot of trouble to get a copy of the same edition as the one I loved. There's even a childhood reading ritual that goes with it! =^-^= I'll teach it to you
Jennifer Strong
Apr 25, 2016 Jennifer Strong rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2016
Tico tells his own story; he was born without wings and a magical pearlescent bird granted his wish for golden wings. Tico's friends, seeing his golden wings and thinking he feels superior to them (they're actually just insecure), abandon him. Tico's golden wings are valuable and as he flies about seeing people in need, he wants to help them. He gives his wings one by one to the needy until all his feathers are black. Returning to his friends, Tico is welcomed back because now he is just like th ...more
Julia Brumfield
Apr 22, 2016 Julia Brumfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, book
This was a beautifully done book that has so many great lessons of wisdom covered within the story itself of a bird that was born without but when he gets what can make him equal to others his friends think he is high and mighty. And on a path to just find himself he does so and so much more at the same time.

The story is a beautiful read although not for the beginning of readers since the words are small and many per page even though they there isn't really any of difficult pronunciation. Ther
Dec 03, 2012 Cori rated it liked it
This is a story about a bird named Tico and his special golden wings. At first, Tico didn't have wings to fly away with his friends and explore the world. When he wished for wings, he was granted with golden wings. Due to his different wings, his friends alienated Tico, making him sad. This led to Tico going on a trip around the world, helping others in need by giving them one of his feathers. Every time Tico gave away a feather, a new black feather grew back. Slowly, he started losing his golde ...more
Jan 10, 2015 Russell rated it liked it
(view spoiler)

Good lesson about how we truly aren't all created equal, and insecure "friends" can sometimes use you.
Kimberly Hansen
I really liked Tico and the golden wings. I found this to be a cute story about a bird who got golden wings and then was rejected because he was different than the other birds. Tico then used his difference, the golden wings, to help others in the community. Tico was then accepted by his bird friends and realized that every one has different memories and experiences.
Oct 05, 2015 Cassie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
As expected, this book was beautifully illustrated with a lovely story that tells of compassion, acceptance and giving.
Feb 02, 2012 Kixie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2014 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's not really much to say about Leo Lionni, other than that he's freaking awesome and brilliant.
Apr 19, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
I loved the illustrations, but I wish Tico had found new, better friends.
Nov 21, 2007 Kell* rated it liked it
Recommends it for: k-2
Shelves: picture-book
Tico is a unique bird among his flock, he has wings that are made of gold, however he wants to be like everyone else. Throughout Tico's journey, he encounters others in need, so he generously offers them one of his wings made of gold. As he gives his feathers away, soft dark feathers grow in place.
I like this story because it shows how uniqueness is valuable. It shares the importance of sharing, and growing into a strong individual.
Sep 20, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, storybook
2.5 stars

I liked Tico and the fact that he kept giving away his golden feathers, even when he understood that it made his wings turn into regular feathers.

However, Tico's friends were awful. Yes, they helped him when he was perceived as 'less' than them because he couldn't fly. They, rather than being happy for him when he got wings, they abandoned him for having 'better' wings than they did. With friends like that...

Feb 09, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
I know that this author is very well known in the children's book arena, but it is only recently that I have been paying attention to his work. I guess I am slow in catching up. This like tale like his "Six Crows" fable (another one that I truly love) is well written with a didactic message through out. Within this story the message is: "We are all different, perhaps on the outside, but most assuredly in the inside".
May 20, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. I saw the point that author was making, but I didn't feel like it was really applicable to the whole story. I was also really annoyed with the little bird's friends. The illustrations were okay. I would only recommend if you were an avid Leo Lionni fan.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Gail Barge
This is a great book to talk about folk-tales and the lessons they hold. A wonderful story to discuss unique qualities of individuals and how to share your uniqueness with the world, just like Tico does with his golden feathers. The illustrations were very beautiful and this book reminds me of many other folk-tales I have read before. It could be included in a genre study.
Anne Beier
A wingless bird wishes for wings and receives golden ones. His friends think he thinks he's better than them and snub him. He doesn't feel that way, and ends up giving away all his golden feathers to those in need. When he looks like the other birds, they accept him back. Inside he is a very different bird who has experienced a journey of compassion and helping those in need.
May 13, 2013 ABC rated it liked it
Is this the companion book to "The Rainbow Fish" or what? The story is very similar. This one is a little better because he gives his wings to needy people, not the animals who are teasing him. Plus, the author makes a point that it is okay to be different. Still.........Tico does end up befriending the birds who ostracized him, minus his golden wings.
Mar 16, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it
This is such a sweet story! Tico doesn't have any wings so he can't fly like the other birds but one day he has a dream and gets golden wings. When his friends abandon him because he is different he travels the land giving away his golden feathers to help others. I totally almost cried, great book. Nice illustrations too, simple and lovely.
Asha Smith
Feb 23, 2011 Asha Smith rated it liked it
Tico is a bird who cant fly. One day he makes a wish to have golden wings. But then his friends get upset with him because they think he wants to be different. In the end his friends accept him for who he is. This is a great story of friendship and accepting others even though they are different. This is a great story for class bullies.
A fable about a bird born without wings who gets his wish for golden wings, but then his brothers won't talk to him. One by one, the bird gives away his golden wings to people in need. When he gives away the last one, he gets to live with his brothers happy that he got to help others.

The watercolors are geometrical and simple.
Powder color ground in water and mixed with an albuminous, gelatinous or colloidal medium. A story of a wingless bird who wished for golden wings. When granted his wish, he was shunned by his friends. As he gave his wings to those in need, his feathers grew in black. Once again, he was welcomed by his friends.
Alana Graham
Apr 11, 2011 Alana Graham rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! Tico is a compassionate bird that yearns to fly with his friends. This is a great story to teach students to empathize with the misfortune of others. It also illustrates the priceless worth of friendship.
May 31, 2011 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. The illustrations were very cool and I even enjoyed the story. It provides a great lesson on how you gain so much more by giving and serving one another than by keeping you talents and time all to yourself.
What you wish The Giving Tree was like but with absolutely stunning illustrations.
Jan 20, 2012 Martha rated it really liked it
Another children's book that I missed in the 80's. Sweet tale of friendship, selflessness, and realization of everyone's differences among the similarities.
May 30, 2008 lily rated it it was amazing
It was amazing because a little bird didn't have any wings and he wished for golden wings, and then gave his feathers to people, and then he had black wings.

I am a big Lionni fan, but this one wasn't that fantastic to me. I loved the message of giving, but found the message of belonging a bit two-sided.
Jan 17, 2008 Alia rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Beautiful illustrations. The story is sweet though I suspect it might appeal more to the adults than the kids.
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Leo Lionni wrote and illustrated more than 40 highly acclaimed children's books. He received the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was a four-time Caldecott Honor Winner--for Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Leo Lionni died in October of 1999 at his home in Tuscany, Italy, at the age of 89.

Leo Lionni has gained international renown for his
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“Now my wings are black, I thought, and yet I am not like my friends. We are all different. Each for his own memories, and his own invisible golden dreams.” 10 likes
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