booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
I thought I will write these two reviews together, because the first one is a quite short book and the second one is not very relevant to the theme, but, it's here because a lot of library catalogues list it under "Fiction: Flying" and the cover shows a boy trying to fly. Because of that, I feel my duty to talk about the book even to tell you it's not very fitting.

I also decided to do a new thing from now... for the picture books, I'm going to scan one page of the book and show it here. Then, if you are collecting it for the art you can see if you like the art.

So, here are the reviews ^^

Short review (Unicorn Wings): A very simple child's book that is written for readers from "preschool" to "grade 1" in America, with very beautiful pictures and a nice, simple, sweet story with a good message. There's not much for older people but if you are looking for an inspiring book about joy, friendship and magic, to give to a very young child, this is the one ^^

Short review (The Not-Just-Anybody Family): An older child's book that has a "crazy adventure with an odd family" feeling. The writing is fun, but the part about flying is just at the beginning and then it's forgotten very soon, among all the other daredevil mischief. It's a fun book with no bad messages but, there's not much here for winged people.

Snowy white swansWriting (Unicorn Wings): Very simple... there is no poetry. It's a "someone just learning to read" book. Because of that, older people might find it boring, and the ending is not very "neat"... it just stops. But, for a young child it's good and the pictures are beautiful (see on the right).

Writing (The Not-Just-Anybody Family): Quite fun... there's not much problems with the technical writing. It is a little light-hearted so if you want a serious story, it might not be the one but younger children might not notice. The ending is a little sudden and there's not a real plot... it's just "some exciting adventures happen but then things go back to normal". Nothing really changes.

From a winged person's perspective... (Unicorn Wings): Very nice. The pictures of pretty winged creatures will make anyone happy, young or old, and the story is very simple and positive... a unicorn wants wings, helps a pegasus and gets his own wings, and flies off to be happy. There's no bad messages or sneaky feeling of "magic has a price"... just beauty and joy. If only all adults' books could be like this....

From a winged person's perspective... (The Not-Just-Anybody Family): The only content about winged people, or people wanting to fly is at the very start... and, it's over quite quickly. Anyone reading the story for this will be disappointed. There are a couple of nice lines, like "he felt the wings were becoming part of him" but it's not the focus of the story.

Trigger warnings (Unicorn Wings): None.

Trigger warnings (The Not-Just-Anybody Family): Trying to tear off the artificial wings.

More thoughts...: Unicorn Wings really doesn't have any problems except that it is very simple... but, for the age who are meant to read it, it's fine. The Not-Just-Anybody Family is not really relevant to the theme. Because one book has a very special audience and one book is not relevant, it's hard to rate them, so, please use the information here to decide ^^
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: As it says, this is an anthology of many flight stories. I thought because of the title that it would have a mixture of stories, from winged people to planes. But, there are only a couple of winged people stories, which are the classic Greek myths. Everything else is about planes... mostly war stories. The Greek myths aren't a very good translation either. So... there's really nothing in this book for winged people sadly, disappointing....

Writing: It's an anthology so the writing is varied. I admit that I skimmed-read a lot of the stories because they didn't seen relevant so I don't have a good impression but... the writing didn't connect with me. I guess maybe it's not my type of writing.

From a winged person's perspective...: This book contains a couple of the Greek myths about winged people but otherwise it's not relevant... I couldn't even find any good stories that were about flying in a plane, but had that "joy of flying" feeling. The stories about winged people skim over the details.

Trigger warnings: Horrors of war.

More thoughts...: There isn't much additionally to say about this book since it's not relevant to my theme... but... looking at the title, you might think that it is, so I add this review so people would know. Since it says "flight stories", I expected a mixed spread. But, this is really not "the right kind of flying". So, I can't really give it a rating.

This was a quick review sorry m(_ _)m I was disappointed that this book had nothing for me. But, I'm soon going on a trip and taking many of my books so there will be a lot more reviews in the near future!! ^^

The books I have with me are these, so you can expect some, or all of these reviews soon:

Wings, by Bill Brittain
Signs of Life, by M. John Harrison
Flying Out of this World, by Peter Greenaway
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach
The Book of Flying, by Keith Miller

Please, I hope you enjoy it! m(_ _)m
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: This is a rework of the myth of Icarus with beautiful picture spreads. Since it is based on the Greek myth, it can't very too much from the story, which I think many people know: Icarus flies too close to the sun and drowns. Like the myth, this story is all about flying as expressing the sin of pride... trying to be too close to the gods... which I think will bother many winged people, because they think that their flying is not about that, or they think that their flying is about being closer to the spiritual world and that's okay. If you want a version of the myth that has beautiful pictures and some poetic feel, you might like this one, but I don't recommend the story in general... especially for young children as it might make them feel "choosing to follow your dreams and be free will cause you to be hurt" if they long for flight.

Writing: The writing has a good poetic feel. Of course it is based on a story already existing so there is not a lot that's creative here, but Jane Yolen does expand on the story a little bit from what I know about the myth. Unfortunately, that expanding is only more driving home that Daedalus was a proud person and that the gods thought that was bad, which is the point of the story so I can't blame her, but it won't make winged people happy to associate pride with flying in a bad way.

From a winged person's perspective...: The art is really beautiful and realistic, with lots of detail that maybe you only notice the second time, and give a feeling of how amazing it is to fly. The wings really look like wings! The sad part is Icarus... he seems to love the flying for its own reasons and not because he has pride. He flies higher only because it's beautiful to fly and he loves the feeling. But in the end that is what makes him lose his wings. I don't think I know a story that has a more "anti-winged-people" message than that really.

Trigger warnings: None other than the obvious ^^;; The "falling out of the sky" picture is very realistic though.

More thoughts...: Since the story is so simple my thoughts are very simple too... this story just feels against all my spiritual beliefs, that we are meant to fly high and touch the spiritual world. I think that wings and flying are spiritual in many ways. And the myth of Icarus goes quite against that. Of course, your feelings on this story will vary. If you find the myth beautiful then this is a great book ^v^ Personally I don't know how to rate the story, you can't give a rating to a myth really ^^;; The pictures are a five out of five.
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
These are reviews of two short picture books I read... there's not enough content really to give proper reviews and both of them are for very young children, there's not much in them for adults (unlike some other short books like Hawk, I'm Your Brother which any age can enjoy). But, to be complete, and for the sake of anyone who wants to buy books for their children, I'll give these short reviews.

Leonardo's Dream... I actually found it by chance. I made a long list of library books that I wanted to review. By chance, I was going by the picture shelves and I saw this book, with a penguin on the front wearing artificial wings strapped to his small penguin wings. I thought, haha, what a lucky find! So, I picked it up.

This book is basically what it looks like on the cover. All the other penguins like to swim, but one penguin feels different from the others. He only wants to fly. As in many books, this part of the book is written well with his descriptions of longing to fly. But as in many books, too, the story gets let down later on. He manages to build his artificial wings, but crashes. The crash landing helps him find a plane which he then uses to finally fly and take all the other penguins flying too... but the plane runs out of fuel. The albatross who was standing by him all through the book tells him sadly that it was his first, and last flight because now the fuel is gone. (If a penguin can fly a plane with goggles and a pilot's hat, he can't also find more fuel?) But he doesn't mind, because he got to have his dream and now practices swimming with all the other penguins.

Obviously, from the story you can see that there is good and bad to this book. Good, because the penguin found something amazing by following his dreams. But it's bad in terms of representing winged people... because for any real winged person I really imagine flying once would not be enough... and part of the message seems to be that after you've tried your dream once, you should go back to being normal. It's hard to say what the message was... and I don't think it is that good because of that. What will children get out of this book? It's hard to say. So, with a mixed message like that, I don't think it is very useful.

Flamboyan is quite a simple and dreamy story about a girl who sits under a tree and dreams that she is flying... or, by the end, is she really flying? It isn't explained. There's nothing negative in this book... it's just a story about a girl who takes joy in flying. It's suggested too that she will fly many more times in the future. As a joyful book for children, I recommend it, just to show children that dreams are beautiful, that loving who you are is beautiful, and to have a book about that with no harsh messages, or feelings that you should give up your dreams. For Flamboyan there is a time to fly and a time to be with family, but she can always fly again.

I don't think I can give scores for either of these books. The plot is described simply here, so that should be enough to decide whether you want these books for your children.
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: This book can't be described in a short review so well without spoiling it... or even a long review without spoiling it. All I will say is it's a strange, beautiful, ethereal feeling story that is absolutely recommended for everyone with the heart of a flyer... and also just as a great story... you won't understand why for a while, but it is worth waiting for as it slowly unfolds, and in the meantime, the rest of the story unfolding is a joy. Even the cover and the size of the book are part of the beauty.

Writing: Amazing... full of poetry, a beautiful sort of melancholy wistful feeling, mystery, and hope. The writing never lets this book down.

From a winged person's perspective...: At first, this book may not seem that it has much for winged people. The main character is a girl who is so light that the wind carries her, but soon she is bound to the ground. But you will understand in time why this book is called "Bird". All through the book, too, you will get an indirect feeling of her love for the air... in the way that she always describes the weather and the quality of the air and the feeling of being up high... more subtle than most books, but it is all through the story in a way that makes it really a story about a flyer, in a way that is rare, and realistic. To say more would spoil it....

Trigger warnings: A child is imprisoned and treated poorly.

Extra note: This book is by Rita Murphy who also wrote Night Flying (which I review at that link). Clearly, she has an attachment to this idea... flyers may want to watch out for her work in the future.

More thoughts... )


Mar. 8th, 2011 10:30 pm
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A young boy from China travels to a foreign land to be with his father, full of strange people they see as "demons", and try to live among them. But the father, Windrider, believes in a secret heritage he carries inside... and though few people there understand it, with the help of his son, who believes, he tries to bring it to life, to live as a dragon in the modern world.

Writing: It's a slow book, but has a lot of an atmospheric feel of (for me) a very different culture.

From a winged person's perspective...: Even though Windrider chooses to explore his dragon nature by building a device for flight, there isn't a lot about wings... this book is more about identity. It's about a man's faith to live as a dragon, even without his dragon body, and despite that few people believe him, by doing what he thinks a dragon should do. Ultimately the feeling behind it is "a desire to pursue a dream of being yourself, even if most people don't think it's sensible". The "living as a dragon" is subtle and it might be a good model for otherkin, "how to bring your inner self into the human world, while still living in a human way".

Trigger warnings: There weren't any for me, but others might find them.

More thoughts... )


booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
book reviews for winged people

June 2011

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