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Feather

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3.25  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A feather is blown across the sky, meeting various birds along the way, and asking each one, "Do I belong to you?" Again and again, the feather is dismissed or ignored. Only when it calmly and contentedly accepts that perhaps it is simply a feather with no bird to call its own does fate offer a reunion...
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 18th 2017 by Elsewhere Editions (first published 2017)
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Fran
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Feather wants to know where she belongs. She has been fluttering and floating in the sky feeling peaceful,but at times, helpless. She is determined to discover what type of bird she comes from. Her journey is not an easy one.

The wind carries Feather to mountain peaks, tufts of grass and bodies of water. She meets, questions, and is ignored by a kingfisher focused on catching fish and a cuckoo calling out to people. A peacock is insulted by Feather's query. How can Feather possibly think she belo
...more
Cheri
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing

“Feather” was written by Cao Wenxuan, one of China’s celebrated children’s authors, and beautifully illustrated by Roger Mello.

This story begins when a young boy and girl pick up Feather, pass her back and forth, then toss her back to the ground, wondering out loud: “What kind of a bird is that feather from?”

Feather, herself, begins to wonder about that very same thing.

Where do I belong? Who do I belong to? Where do I fit in? Life is hard enough when you are among others, but Feather is beginnin
...more
Laura
Eh, I think this might have lost something in the translation. Having read another book about feathers, that was actually fun, I did not find this to be fun, and it isn't that beautiful a picture book, and too many words for kids to enjoy it.

A feather tries to find where it came from. In the journey a hawk eats a skylark. It turns out it is a chicken feather. THe end.

Sorry, just not that engaging. It's ok, but not really for kids

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest re
...more
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
In this simple story about identity, longing and belonging, a single feather, blown about by the wind, begins to wonder what kind of bird she belongs to after two children find her and ask the same question. As the wind carries the feather off again, she longingly thinks that perhaps if she belonged to a bird, she could soar high into the sky. As she is carried along, the feather runs into all kinds of birds, including a kingfisher, a heron, a cuckoo, a peacock, and even a magpie, asking each in ...more
Krystal
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This meaningful children's story captures such complex themes as sense of belonging, deceiving appearances, etc, with vibrant images that bring its lessons to life on the page.
Amy Layton
My future Children's Literature degree adviser told me that she adored this book, but had only ever read a PDF version of it, never having held a copy in her own hands.  I found this book in France before I even met her.  So finally, months later, I had some calm moments and the time to just sit back with a cup of tea, my French dictionary, and read.  My future adviser wasn't wrong one bit.  This book is well-worth the praise she gave it.

Firstly, the book is longer than it is tall.  That's what
...more
Kirsty
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-2017, kindle
Cao Wenxuan's Feather is the only children's book which I have chosen to include upon my Reading the World list. It has been translated from its original Chinese by Chloe Garcia-Roberts, and has been written by China's answer to Hans Christian Andersen. Feather felt like something a little different, both to read and to write about.

Feather opens with Wenxuan's inspiration for writing the tale: 'One day a great wind blew through Beijing. As I was walking into the gale I suddenly noticed a single
...more
Hannah
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Within a Feather, the illustrations and the narrative feel slightly disjointed from one another, while the narrative is okay and the illustrations are too; occasionally the quality of the illustration wavers in quality and excecution a little bit. I'm sure children would love it nevertheless.
Thanks to Netgalley for letting me view A Feather in exchange for an honest review.
Rachel
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
It wasn't what I was expecting. But instead of one star I'm giving it two because I think this ones all on me and not the book itself.
Richelle Zirkle
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for young children with a sweet ending. It focuses on a feather searching for the bird it belongs to. It reminded me in many ways of PD Eastman's Are You My Mother? It was one of my very favorite books as a child. Children can relate to the sense of belonging and wondering where they come from and what community they are a part of.

The illustrations were just okay. For the style they are, they are well done, but the style just doesn't appeal much to me.

I received an ARC in ex
...more
Michael
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the abrupt ending, this was a lovely (especially the art) picture book!
Sue
Feather is a beautifully illustrated book with a simple plot: a feather is searching for the bird it belongs to. It asks every bird it comes across, “Am I yours?” Like Webster J. Duck, he is searching for his place in the world, and he asks many birds if he belongs to them–a kingfisher, a goose. One sweet skylark kindly takes him up into the sky so that the feather can experience flight, and is summarily EATEN BY A HAWK right in front of the sentient feather. Nothing gory is shown but this jolti ...more
Bill
Gorgeous bookmaking.
Paperback translated edition now available in US through Elsewhere Editions. Not nearly the quality of the hardback edition, but the story remains strong and illustrations are still those of Roger Mello.
Ronda
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
This story just left me feeling bereft. Perhaps I am too tenderhearted. I often remind my students that predators must eat too--that spiders, lions, and hawks can't very well go through the drive-through at McDonald's or the grocery store to get dinner--they often reply back that it's "the circle of life." That said, I also struggled with the idea of using this story as a read aloud for several reasons, not least of which is the jarring episode between the hawk and the sparrow. For readalouds, I ...more
That One Librarian
"A Feather" is a quiet, contemplative look at belonging through the eyes of Feather - a genderless character who has lost the bird to whom they belonged. Feather wishes nothing more than to fly high on a bird, and so Feather asks each bird they encounter "Do I belong to you?" After many rejections, a kind bird takes the feather flying but falls victim to the predatory hawk. Finally, feeling defeated, Feather finds its bird and realizes that a walk on the ground might be very nice, too. While the ...more
Theediscerning
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Hmmmm... I'd have to say I expected more from this young read. While the idea of a feather on a quest for ownership is OK it didn't feel like it was handled brilliantly. Part of that was me not taking to the artwork, although seeing it in real double-paged spreads and not on netgalley would have helped with that. Partly the story just felt a bit pat - the drama near the end of a good deed met with ill will jars with the pattern that the quest has established, and surely when you can float and fl ...more
Julie
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
It was one of those days at the Library where there was a lot to do & a lot going on. Then, in the midst of it all, a cart of new books was brought to me to process before delivering it to the Youth Services dept. & time stopped. I love to see the new books that the Library has purchased before they go out on the shelves. I became enchanted with this book in particular & put it aside to checkout & savor at home. It is absolutely stunning from cover to cover! The art is a visual f ...more
Ryan
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A feather is trying to find it’s owner. It dreams of flying and being reunited with its bird soon. But first it must figure out what type of bird it belongs to. Overall the story is not bad but it can get a little repetitive. The artwork is at times beautiful, and at times annoying. There are pages where the print is hard to read because it’s black on a dark background. Since this is a wordy story, seeing the words is very important.
Beyondthebookends
Aug 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
While the illustrations were lovely and I liked the initial tale - the quest for the feather to find his owner. However, as the story progressed I found myself liking it less and less. When the hawk attacked the only nice bird in the bunch it was disturbing. Immediately after that scene, the bird lands and a chicken find him and puts him in her wing. It was an abrupt ending and unsatisfying as well.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
Rebecca
A beautifully illustrated children's book that follows a feather on its journey to find which bird it came from. The themes of curiosity, sadness and belonging are all delicately handled, making it a really lovely story for both adults and children. Having previously heard about Cao's thought provoking and beautiful children's books I was really happy to be able to finally read one!

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for the chance to read and honestly review this book.
Donna Mork
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bittersweet book. Feather is lost. He asks every bird he meets, am I yours? A lark takes him flying, which was his wish. Then he meets a hawk and the hawk kills the lark. It makes the feather sad and he floats to the ground. He sees a chicken and wonders if he belongs to her but he's to afraid to ask anymore. Then she opens her wings and he sees where she is missing a feather. He doesn't want to fly anymore.
Sarah Hannah
Oh wow, I can see why Mello is always winning awards. The light touch on mixed media is pretty great. The narrative is pretty standard, but for one of those repetitive question-type books (do we have a name for those?), it is more complex and literary, and obviously for older readers. Like, don't love. Major, major points for book design and construction, though.
Nancy Prater
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read and understood the deeper meaning about the feather trying to find out who it is and where is going and what is meant to become, but the symbolism was quite a bit over my children's heads. Plenty for a mature reader to ponder. I loved the artistic binding, different sized pages...this is a beautifully thought out, symbolic book.
Jen
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this but the ending was so abrupt. The initial story seems to be targeted towards the preschool set. However, as another review mentioned, the demise of the only sweet character in the book would be troubling for some kids, and definitely for most American parents of young kids. At least the ones I run into at the library.
Lynn
An unusual presentation in story and format. A feather searches for the bird to which it belongs (much like, "Are You My Mother?"). Each page has a different color solid background, and many are a bit short of the size of the cover. The back cover has a flap under which the last few pages can be tucked. There is no apparent purpose that I could see.
Alyssa Gudenburr
A mix between the classic book "Are You My Mother?" and a fable. This story follows a feather that keeps asking each bird if it belongs to them. The text is very long and there is an event where a hawk eats another bird so it would be better for older children.
Tara
I received this ARC from Netgalley for an honest review. This is the story of a feather trying to get back to its original carrier. The story is interesting but the winner of this book is the illustrations.
Cat
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming story, but I wouldn't read it to a real young child as a hawk kills a skylark towards the end of the book... Wonderful story tho'. I can't speak of the illustrations, however, as my Kindle edition really didn't have any to speak of..maybe when I find a hard copy I'll update this review!
Jason
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books, birds
The presentation is effective; the book itself is beautiful. But the story, while I genuinely connected to it a couple of times, failed to impact me in the way I expected it to, given the art of the book itself. Does that make sense?
Kelly
I technically give this book 1.5 stars. I think there is potential for a story, but it needs a lot of work.

The illustrations are strange. And many of the pages are dark and I had a hard time reading them without a bunch of light.

Did not like this book.
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