an absolutely must - read book for children

How to Heal a Broken Wing is a really special book. A simple, moving story that illustrates complicated ideas like animal rights, compassion and freedom.

The story goes like this:

Among the busying, hurrying throng of people, only little Will notices the injured bird lying on the ground.  His mother takes off her scarf, wraps the bird up and they take it home.


At home the family bandage its broken wing, give it water to drink, food to eat and a box to sleep in. Next day Will's father goes out to buy a cage for it to live in.


In time the wing heals. They return the bird to the place they found it. Will lets it go. The birds flies away, free again.

Although it's not stated explicitly, from the illustrations you realize that the bird is a pigeon in Trafalgar Square, London. That is what's so powerful and moving about this story. The bird is an insignificant pigeon, one of thousands. Yet it's valued as an individual life. And it's valued and respected as a wild bird. It's not given a name or made into a pet. It's just cared for until it's recovered and able to fend for itself again. Then it's set free.


I'm linking this to the Garden Book Reviews meme hosted by Holley at her blog, Roses and Other Gardening Joys.  A great place to share bookish experiences.

Comments

  1. As a former teacher I love children's books because they really teach so much to all of us..this will be one to add to my list...what a great story!

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    1. I love children's book too, I think a good book is a good book whether it is for children or adults.

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  2. There was a good lesson in this story. All the life must be respected...

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    1. yes ... and protected, and treasured.

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  3. I'm so glad that they treated it as a wild bird. It sounds like a great read, with a good lesson. I think writers that can make a point in a children's book are so talented. It's usually very memorable when adults get a lesson from a child's book. Thanks for joining in!

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    1. It's a pleasure to join the meme Holley, i was a bit anxious because it was different to a gardening book, I interpreted the theme widely to include anything related to nature. I think this book can influence adults who read it as well as kids.

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  4. Yes, it's a lovely, kind-hearted book, Catmint.

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    1. yes, but it's realistic, the pigeon lives in a cold harsh world where most people are too busy to notice his plight. It is only one little boy and his mother that notice and care and act.

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  5. Love the message here. These books are seeds that are planted into our youth's minds. This year, I've worked with 3 of the nephews and nieces on the nature education piece. They remember everyone you say and they don't forget. They were appreciative of the knowledge and in return they get to see things close up. I hope more people read books like these to their kids.

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    1. It is a great privilege to be able to influence the values of the next generation - the most important and satisfying thing I can think of doing.

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  6. Very nice story. I do wish children nowadays learn to sit back and enjoy the simpler thing is life. Not everything has to be multimedia to be enjoyed and so on. I do ensure that my kids are unplugged at least weekly. My daughter loves reading books and I'm hoping the little one catches on soon.

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    1. that's great. My grandsons, 1 and 3, love reading books, and hopefully this experience will vaccinate them against the dangers of being plugged in later.

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  7. Aw, very cute! I think kids naturally love animals and have lots of compassion for them. They just need some support and guidance from us adults.

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    1. I think you're right, Indie. I used to work as a social worker in a child and adolescent psychiatric unit and one of the signs of really disturbed behaviour was cruelty to animals. Those kids had been treated cruelly by adults, so I guess were doing the same back to those with less power.

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  8. What a touching story with a lesson for all ages. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. It was a pleasure Dorothy, thanks for the visit and comment!

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  9. Lovely book with a lovely message, hopefully all who read it, adults and children, will take the message on board.

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  10. Considering what just happened here in the US, I love anything that respects the value of an individual life. Sounds like a beautiful story. :o)

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    1. Interesting comment Tammy, the message of this book is the total polar opposite in spirit compared to what just happened in the US.

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  11. Wonderful! I will look for this book. Hope it's available in the US. You've reminded me that I've been meaning to review one of my favorite children's books on my blog for awhile. It's called "Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel." Check it out if you can!

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    1. Dear J, I hope it's available in the US. I'll look out for the Miss Bridie book, if it's one of your faves it must be worth getting hold of.

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  12. This sounds like a great book to teach children about compassion and the cover illustration makes me think that it would be a beautiful book to see as well.

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    1. I posted your reply below by mistake, Jennifer.

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  13. Thanks for the review. This makes me miss all those hours I spent reading to my children when they were little. We had the most snugly of times! I'll have to put this book on my pinterest board for when I have grand babies!

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    1. Hi Cat, I'm so pleased you like the review. Snuggling with little children and reading a book is definitely one of the best things in life. cheers, catmint

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  14. Hi Jennifer,definitely- I can't think of a more perfect book for stimulating discussion about compassion and caring. cheers, catmint

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  15. I love reading to my grandchild and answering all the whys which go along with it. I find it a great opportunity to impart our family values.

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  16. I read your comment on the book meme re taking the widest possible interpretation of gardening. I consider the planet to be my garden, which I am responsible for nurturing. Now to get the rest of the human race to think the same way...

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  17. That is a nice message indeed. I think most kids would be interested in helping the bird with the potential to have a new pet. Not that there's anything wrong with a child thinking that, but the message is fantastic. You have found such great old gardening/kid books. My husband has actually "rescued" a couple of birds recently. There is a wild animal rescue nearby and he's gone in at least twice with a little box of injured bird...I think the website mentioned most injured birds do not make it, but it's very endearing that he'll run these birds over there anyway.

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