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How to Heal a Broken Wing
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How to Heal a Broken Wing

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  977 Ratings  ·  228 Reviews
In a spare urban fable, Bob Graham brings us one small boy, one loving family, and one miraculous story of hope and healing."No one saw the bird fall."In a city full of hurried people, only young Will notices the bird lying hurt on the ground. With the help of his sympathetic mother, he gently wraps the injured bird and takes it home. In classic Bob Graham style, the beaut ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published April 9th 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 13, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
This one surprised me. I ordered it for my littlest human, a curious mischief maker who will
paint his face with chocolate pudding or check to see if small pieces of playground rubber bits will fit up his nostril (yep, they will). He loves animals, especially frogs. And when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas he told me that he needed a skeleton to learn about bones. This is the kind of child that can scare a mother, just a little bit, but also make her heart swell with pride over his aga
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Since I am not one who usually loves books with strong and obvious messages, I surprised myself for really liking this one. Why? First and foremost, I think it is because that there is a real plot and emotional arc in the telling of this gentle and simple story of hope. Hope in healing the wounds of the world (a page with the TV screen showing the current War in contrast with the family's loving care of the bird); hope in having our next generations to have compassion for the world around them; ...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 23, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids who like birds & other animals; for discussion about intervening in order to help others
This author-illustrator seems to write and illustrate books with loving people and families who are animal friendly in various ways.

I just read 2 other picture books by this author-illustrator (and just now noticed that a 3rd book by him that I read recently was a sequel, and I haven’t read the first book). When I was alerted to the other two books I read today, I noticed that this book has been on my to-read shelf since November 23, 2008, so I reserved it at the library when I reserved the othe
R. C.
Feb 10, 2010 R. C. rated it it was amazing
This is an early but strong contender for best bedtime story of 2010. The reader's heart absolutely falls and soars when the bird does. The graphic-novel-inspired illustration style gets the emotions of the bird across perfectly without resorting to personification. Any parent knows that every toddler would stop for every fallen bird; that familiarity and realism makes the story of the bird's plight hit home even harder. This nearly wordless, brief picture book made me cry. My four-year-old was ...more
May 18, 2015 Nola rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book starts out on a sad note, but ends well. A pigeon flies into a glass panel high up on a building and breaks its wing. A little boy finds it lying on the ground and takes it home. The family cares for it in the hope that it will fly again.

There aren't a lot of words in this book, as it's told mainly in pictures. The illustrations are good and some are arranged on the page in panels almost like a comic book so that you can follow the sequence of events. A good way of involving a child in
Kate Hastings
Oct 02, 2008 Kate Hastings rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grades K-3 compassion ecology
A boy notices an injured bird in the middle of a busy city sidewalk. He takes it home and nurses it to health. Bob Graham has wonderful, sweet pictures that make the story. I see a tie-in to character development/compassion/ecology.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Feb 16, 2012 Randie D. Camp, M.S. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In a large, busy city no one notices a fallen bird...except for a kindhearted young boy, Will, who runs to rescue it. Will takes the bird home to his family and with rest, time, and hope the family is able to help the bird heal its broken wing.

What I admired most in this story was Graham usage of color to emphasize the kindness of Will and his family. The city and busy people are represented by greys, browns, and other neutral hues while Will is shown in bright red and blues. This color choice
How to Heal a Broken Wing tells a simple yet heartwarming and uplifting story, whose message about compassion and hope goes well beyond the plot of the book. In Graham's own words, "In troubled times, when many of us are losing contact with the natural world, I wanted to show that there is still hope in a coming generation of children who have curiosity and empathy with the world around them, and that care and attention can sometimes fix broken wings."

Also, Graham's use of carefully selected wor
Dec 17, 2008 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beloved author and illustrator David Graham has produced yet another beautiful picture book. How to Heal a Broken Wing tells the story of a pigeon that falls out of the sky and lands in the middle of a busy city. No one seems to notice this poor bird, except for a little boy named Will. With the help of his mother he brings the bird home. Will and his parents nurse the bird back to health and mend its broken wing until finally the pigeon is able to fly away and rejoin the other birds in the wild ...more
Katherine Fountain
Jan 31, 2012 Katherine Fountain rated it it was amazing
How To Heal A Broken Wing is so inspiring and as an adult, I got goose bumps and felt such strong emotion while reading this story. The story centers around a bird who falls to the ground from a broken wing and no one helps the bird...except for a young boy named Will. Will takes the bird home and cares for the bird and with lots of hope, the bird (spoiler alert) is able to fly again. This book is so powerful with only a few words. If a child can not read yet, the pictures are so detailed that i ...more
Marjorie Ingall
Mar 24, 2009 Marjorie Ingall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-3-6
Maxine, 4, loves this book. I do too. It's a simple story of a boy who rescues a pigeon, But it's told with such poetic minimalism, and I love the illustrations, which are a mix of panels/small illustrations and full pages. The area in which the bird flies into the side of a glass building looks like the World Trade Center neighborhood. I don't know if it's supposed to, but to me it sure does. And a TV and newspaper in a couple of the illustrations show images of war. It's all kinda sad and reso ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Toby rated it really liked it
Cybils Award for Picture Book Fiction
The story begins on the end papers, where we see a pigeon flying near the page edge, tall buildings and then a wall of glass that foreshadow the first line of text: "High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass." A gray uncaring crowd walks past until our small hero, in a bright red jacket, struggles up the stairs from the subway. Hope is restored when a larger-than-life Will bends down and gently picks up the fallen bird.
In onl
Tawnya Shaw
Feb 08, 2010 Tawnya Shaw rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book really touched me, and I just couldn't keep the tears back. There are very little words, and the ones that are there are short and to the point. The illustrations are simple as well, but represent so many emotions and so much pain I could hardly stand it. It is sad when any living thing is neglected and in pain, and the bird in the story could have easily been replaced with a cat, dog, child, or neglected person of some kind. The child was not just healing the broken wing, but mending ...more
Feb 10, 2011 Tatiana rated it it was amazing
A sweet and sparse picture book where the powerful illustrations tell the entire story of healing and hope. Right when you open the book, you see a pigeon soaring through the clouds, then you turn the page before the actual book starts, and see the startling image of the pigeon crashing into a high rise building. What follows is the choice a young boy makes to take this fallen bird home and under his care, and the slow but hopeful days of healing shown in such beautiful detail in the illustratio ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books, 2014
A beautiful picture book with a sinple story about a little boy who finds an injured pigeon and takes it home to heal. My son proclaimed this his favorite book that we read today. I will be looking for more books by this author.
Dec 08, 2016 Michaila rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This is a fabulous picture book. It's about a bird who has fallen and broken it's wing. Nobody sees the bird fall, or notices the bird laying on the ground, despite the number of people there are on the street. One little boy named Will notices the bird and takes care of the bird, bringing the bird home, wrapping it's wing, and caring for it. Eventually, the bird flies.

The way that the author uses words in this book really sets a theme for how we use words as humans. Often we don't notice birds
May 06, 2017 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham, is about a little boy, Will, who is the only one to notice that a bird has fallen and broken him wing in the middle of a crowded square in the city. He goes to the bird, picks it up, and he and his mother take the bird home with them. Will and his family take care of the bird until its wing heals, and they are able to release it again. The book itself has very little words, but its illustrations make up for that. Graham is also the illustrator for his bo ...more
Lauren Barber
Jan 31, 2017 Lauren Barber rated it it was amazing
A bird falls after hitting a glass pane on a building, left fearful and alone with a broken wing. Will is the only one who sees this bird. The illustrations here show Will in a bright red coat in the middle of the gray-colored crowd of people, putting the focus on the compassionate boy scooping up the crippled bird. With the help of his mother, they take the bird home. The next few pages show Will and his parents doctoring the bird and letting it have practice trying to fly, all while the calen ...more
Feb 27, 2017 CassieTrapp rated it it was amazing
My first graders and I adore this book! It is a story told mostly with pictures, and a few sentences throughout the book. My students loved looking at the pictures, describing what they saw, and talking about why the illustrator may have chosen to draw the picture in that way. It was a touching story, and my students really connected well to it.
Oct 11, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
This book is all about the illustrations - a good choice for a one-on-one read.
The Reading Countess
Empathy. Make a ripple. Throw a sand dollar back in the ocean.

We need more books like this.
Shanna Gonzalez
Oct 25, 2011 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-00-04
This poignant book tells the story of young Will and his parents, who find a hurt pigeon outside the subway and bring it home to care for it until it can fly again. The story is deceptively simple, but is presented with a depth of empathy that provokes reflection.

It isn't quite a wordless book, but artistically it's as good as one. Graham tells his story primarily through a skillful handling of perspective, color, and light, with comic-strip style inset frames to move story events along. His art
Marilin Equihua
Picture Book

Graham, Bob. How to Heal a Broken Wing (2008).

Target audience: Ages 3-6

Setting: This book takes place in two different settings. The first is a city with huge skyscrapers and people everywhere. The second is the main character’s home right outside of the city, where more of the story takes place.

Character(s): The main character is a boy named Will. His parents are secondary characters that help him take care of a bird with a broken wing.

Plot/Summary: Will finds a wounded bird in the
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Airy illustrations and sparse poetic prose paint a poignant picture of hope, help and healing in this unspoken invitation to dare to care.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.

Other books mentioned:
“Let’s Get a Pup!” said Kate
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Six weeks ago yesterday, in Woodstock, Ontario, eight year old Victoria Stafford finished her school day ... then disappeared. As the days turned to weeks, Canadians coast to coast came to k
Lydia Erakare
Dec 07, 2016 Lydia Erakare rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realistic
1. This book has received the Charlotte Zolotow Award (2009), the Western Australian Premier's Book Award for Children's Books (2008), the Children's Book Council of Australia Award for Early Childhood Book of the Year (2009), the Cybils Award for Fiction Picture Books (2008), and is a New South Wales Premier's Literary Award Nominee for Patricia Wrightson Prize (2009).

2. This book is appropriate for 1st-5th grades.

3. A poor pigeon injures his wing and falls to the ground. Among the hustle of
Jane G Meyer
Jun 24, 2011 Jane G Meyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book about a little boy who finds a wounded pigeon, takes it home, cares for it, then sets it free is truly sweet. There is very little text--so the story is told through the illustrations, which are visually poignant, and appealing. This is the best Bob Graham book I have read, and something I think little ones would want to read and look at many times over.


"Queenie, One of the family" is also by Graham, published in 1997. The story is fun, about the escapades of a chicken and a family
Sep 20, 2015 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, storybook
I wanted to like this one much more than I did. However, though the entire book I was thinking - yelling at the pages - Take that bird to the wildlife rescue people!!!

Seriously, I work green collar and have to say, if you find a wounded bird - or any wounded wild animal - get it to the wildlife rescue shelter. The boy was in a big city, it is almost certain that there are wildlife rescue people there. IF, and ONLY IF, you have some type of veterinarian training and skills or if you are in a remo
Nov 03, 2016 Nicolette rated it it was amazing
Book Review 2 #1
How to Heal a Broken Leg
By Bob Graham

Will saw a little bird with a broken wing when no one else noticed. He rescued the bird and with the help of his mother and father nursed the bird back to health. The healing process took rest, time and a little hope.

The theme of this book is to remind children to empathize with the world around them even though we are all so busy with our lives, and we are constantly preoccupied with technology. It also shows children that healin
"No one saw the bird fall."

No one, no one saw how the bird fell down and no one cared to see how it is going with the poor thing. People just walk over it, almost stepping on it. And then, there is a little boy, who sees the bird, runs toward it and picks it up.

And boy, do I love, love! the mother. Unlike many mothers, while she is hesitant at first, she just picks up the bird, wraps it in her scarf and puts the bird carefully in her bag! Like, wow, GO Mom!

Then the whole trip back to home, w
Mikayla Baker
Jan 24, 2016 Mikayla Baker rated it liked it
This book by Bob Graham was really cute. It began with a bird flying high in the sky. He ran into a building though and fell to the ground. He was not able to get back up and fly. Nobody noticed him for awhile, but eventually a little boy found him. He took the bird home to help him out. They got his wing all patched up and put him in a cage to let him heal. They waited until they thought he was all healed up. Then what did the bird do. Read to find out.

I really enjoyed that this book didn't ha
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

An Australian children's author and illustrator. His books include Max, which won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal, and "Let's Get A Pup!" Said Kate which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
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