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A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story
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A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,056 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Opus the penguin makes a Christmas wish that he might fly.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 19th 1991)
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4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,056 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've read and loved this book for as long as I can remember. It's probably one of the finest Christmas stories ever written, with the whole unlikely hero angle being worked to a frenzy. It's not something I can say I expect when I read Mr. Breathed's work, though I'm coming to realize that maybe I should. Of the books that I've read by him lately, each one has cleverly fused a story with some moral theme. A lot of his work seems to be focused on the loneliness of modern life, and his characters ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
This book is wonderful. Packed full of positive messages, this holiday story is sure to delight children and adults alike! - Alexis S.
Brianna Jones
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Picture book

Reading Level: transitional, ages 6-10

Topics and Themes: This book is about Christmas. Opus, the main character, wishes that he had wings that work like other birds. The book is about accepting what you are given because everyone is special in their own ways.

Curricular Use: Good for a read aloud

Social: This book deals with accepting the things we cannot change. Opus is envious of other birds who can fly. He tries to fly several times but it never quite works. He wishes to San
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Although I am a self-professed mega-fan of Berke Breathed and Bloom County I think I can briefly step outside this persona to write objectively about this book -- IT'S BRILLIANT! Not only is the book humorous and superbly drawn and colored but it also has in it the very heart-warming, kid-friendly message that you should like yourself for who you are.

Opus the penguin is down at Christmas so he makes a wish to Santa for a pair of "wings that work" so he can soar through the sky with the other bi
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I was always a big fan of Bloom County and I remember looking forward to the Sunday comics in the newspaper so I could read about the exploits of Opus and Milo and Bill the Cat. So when I saw this book at our local library, I just had to read it.

The story is simple and entertaining: Opus wants to fly. The illustrations are just as good as I remembered and the story is wistful, but funny. I don't think our girls have as much of an appreciation for these characters as I do, but they liked the tal
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bloom-county
Poor Opus....all he wants to do is what other birds do naturally--fly.

And yet it's the one thing he can't do despite his wings.

He tries and tries. Only to fail.

But when the snow ducks lead him to Santa's sinking sleigh...well we find out what his wings are truly meant for.

In the words of Santa, "I see no penguins here...whose wings only sputter. Tongiht it was courage that flew yours beyond others."

Maybe this is why I'm drawn to Opus so much. He struggles so hard to do what he thinks he "should"
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-books
Opus the Penguin saves Christmas by helping rescue Santa and his sleigh in this exceptionally well-written and illustrated story in which. We all know that penguins cannot fly, but Opus dreams of soaring through the sky, as do the snow ducks and other birds. He composes a letter to Santa with only one request, "Wings that go." He's sure that Santa will bring him new wings and that he will fly on Christmas Day. The snow ducks awaken him from a deep sleep in the wee hours of Christmas morning urgi ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even if you are unfamiliar with Opus from the comic Bloom County, you can understand Opus, a bird (penguin) who cannot fly. He has wanted wings for so long that he decides that he will ask Santa for "wings that work". But it is not what we think we should be, but who we really are that counts. Opus finds that he is just the "bird" with all the correct abilities and courage to save Santa and Christmas. Very heartwarming.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I've had this book in my collection since I was in second grade and remains one of my favorite books. The story is very inspiring how Opus became the hero of the day. The plot is similar to Rudolph but with a modern penguin twist. Opus has been one of my favorite characters and will be passed on to friends and colleagues.
Trina Dubya
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, hufflepuff
This is a favorite Christmas story. Opus, only seeing what he wishes he could be, asks Santa for wings that will let him fly. But when Santa needs help, it is Opus's own gifts that save the day. The ending is sweet, and the artwork is perfect.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that had so much meaning for me as a kid that it'll mean something to me my whole life. I remembered it for the longest time and finally thought to grab a used copy from Amazon to put on my bedroom bookshelf of my most treasured stories.
Sheri Howard
Love, love, LOVE Berkeley Breathed's Christmas story about Opus in A Wish for Wings That Worked. Text and illustrations get five big stars from me and my husband.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love Opus and this story.
Peter Swift
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I do not think I’ve ever read a more moving and important work on flightless birds and Christmas.
spike marlin
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not a Christmas classic that the fly leaf is suggesting, but a cute story none the less.
✩ Aysha Lula ✩
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Way to on edge for this reading challenge. Will be better next year, right??
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
This book was my childhood. Maybe it's where I got some of my resilience. In any case, I love the story.
Caitlyn LeBeau
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Wish for Wings That Work by Berkeley Breathed is an inspiring story about having different strengths. The main character, Opus, is a penguin whose dream is to be able to fly. He is the only animal that has wings that don't allow him to take flight. Opus orders a flying contraption but ends up not using it because of the steepness of the fall if it didn't work. He decided to write a letter to Santa asking for wings that could fly. He set up for Santa and could not wait until the next morning wh ...more
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers, dreamers, and me
Shelves: favorites
This book has become a Christmas tradition in my home. It is a fantastic lesson of purpose and calling wrapped in a story about a penguin longing to have wings that "work". From Bloom County creator, Berke Breathed, this story takes Opus the penguin out of the Sunday comics and into a new world of snow ducks and Santa. The illustrations for this book are outstanding and the story is funny, well-paced, and terrifically moving. If I could give it six stars out of five, I would.
Lisa Brown
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A sweet story about Opus, the penguin, whom wishes for wings that work. He tries and tries to find a way to fly, and finally asks Santa to bring him wings that work. But on Christmas Eve, when Santa's harness breaks and his reindeer fly off without him and leave him unknowingly in a lake, only Opus can get Santa out. The next morning, all the ducks in the area come to his door and carry him into the sky so he can fly on Christmas morning.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
As far as I am concerned, every child has a dream of flying in the sky just like the penguin in the book. The penguin, Opus, is dying to fly in the sky but he is a penguin and that is a problem, too. I think this book can transmit a message to children that every sorts of creature in the world has a skill to live and has its own specialty. Then, children will know how to discover their interests in some fields they want to express their strong points.
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: kidstuff
Oh Goodness! I stumbled upon this book looking for My Wings by Charles Lindbergh and I nearly hada bit of a heart attack. I used to read this book ALL OF THE TIME! I believe it had a role in my wanting so desperately to become a pilot. Opus is me: Determined, yet seemingly hopeless, until his wish is finally granted (keep your fingers crossed for me!)
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Definitely more for the Opus fan than for just random people reading a picture book. You have to like Opus first to like this book. The illustrations are cute and the writing is alright, but, overall it just doesn't hold a candle to some of the other stuff out there. The only difference would be if you are a fan of Opus.
Sung Baick
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Cute story about a penguin who wishes to fly. He soon finds out that him not being able to fly has saved Christmas for everyone. This would be a fun read for December as Christmas gets near. It's more of a Christmas/winter book as opposed to a book about penguins. Meaning, I would use this book for a lesson on holidays, not penguins. Great for the elementary grade levels.
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This will probably always be one of my favourite children's stories. My mom gave it to me one year for Christmas, along with our traditional Opus. It is a sweet story about Opus, a penguin, wanting to fly, and asking for wings that work for Christmas.
Heart warming and somethng to curl up with kids with, sit down and enjoy it with a cup of cocoa.
Jyh-haw Teng
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a penguin has wings, but he can't fly. he's frustrated because of that. he tried, but he just can't fly. but fate makes him know there's other things that he can do. Just like life. Others can do something doesn't mean you can achieve the same thing too. To know yourself well is the best way to find your life goal and the meaning of your life.
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I had always been a fan of Berkley Breathed's comic strips and when this book came out I was thrilled. It is a fun story that I would recommend any age to read. more importantly to me is this was a gate way book to all of his children's books to follow. Most notable are, Good Night Opus, Edward Fubwubber Fibbed Big, and also Pete and Pickles.
Clairissa D
This text is about a penguin by the name of opus who decides to make a Christmas wish for wings that will work, so that he will be able to fly.The book is ultimately about appreciating the things that you have because it was something that was specifically meant for you. I would use this text to discuss character traits and sequencing.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent story about using your own unique gifts and talents and not spend time worrying about what you CAN'T do. I read this every year to my library students and then explain that we all are different and unique and should celebrate that.
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Guy Berkeley "Berke" Breathed is an American cartoonist, children's book author/illustrator, director, and screenwriter, best known for Bloom County, a 1980s cartoon-comic strip which dealt with socio-political issues as seen through the eyes of highly exaggerated characters (e.g. Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin) and humorous analogies.