booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: This is a companion book to an art exhibit by Peter Greenaway, which was held at the Louvre in 1992. It's fitting for a book on an art exhibit that the writing is lovely, thoughtful and philosophical. Your opinion of the art will very depending on your taste of course, but, the comments on it truly spark some really fascinating thoughts for anyone winged. Much of the pictures don't seem like they really have anything to do with the subject, but, Greenaway is creative and the ideas he draws out of the paintings definitely make you think twice. Absolutely must have in any winged person's collection... if you can afford it.

Writing: The writing is wonderful, asking many interesting philosophical questions, while following a journey through art from the ground, to the sky, and then falling to the ground again. The writer treats the book as catalogue of philosophical flying instructions, containing secrets how we might fly, and presents this in a very serious way. There's also a lot of beautiful art to enjoy obviously.

From a winged person's perspective...: Of course, this book is all about the winged. The writer understands the longing for flying, how no machine will do, our offspring will not do... we must fly. He understands that false flying portrayals make us feel let down. Really, the book is all about that longing for flight, treated as a very serious thing. The "story" of the book, as much as it has a story, has a negative message about flight in the end, but it's such a beautiful journey and the negative message seems to be more about showing all the possibilities and angles that artists have treated flight, not making a judgment.

Trigger warnings: Graphic description of dead bird. Detached wings in a picture. Association of flight with negative pride, detailed descriptions of failing of flight.

More thoughts... )
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A boy discovers he's growing wings one day and is horrified, but learns to understand their beauty... in a way. This is a harsh book with a lot of negative feeling aimed towards winged people, and although the book tries to have a good message, there's too much that's negative in here for the message to really shine out. Also, after the way the book is written, the ending feels like a bad betrayal. This book tries, but it's shaky, there are better books out there.

Writing: Average... other from a couple of writing errors, there's nothing much to say good or bad about the writing.

From a winged person's perspective...: For most of the book there's nothing to make a winged person happy. The main character hates his wings, his family hate his wings (and abuse him for it), he sees nothing good about his experience. But he does learn to "love" the wings (I say "love" for a reason you see later) and the descriptions that happen at this point are quite strong and positive. There is some very realistic flying and they take into account things like the kinds of tiredness you would feel, the beauty of thermals, and there is a part where it feels like he is "chased into the air" in a helpful way that really feels like they are treating him like a baby bird, trying to fly. People describe him as "feeling like he's being made ready for something" and a lot of winged people will sympathise with that feeling. It doesn't really describe how it feels to fly, at the time, but there is a lot of talking afterwards about how it feels like something you can't put in words. The main character's attitude around this time also has a strong positive message, about how he will decide about his body for himself, not let someone else's feelings affect what he does with it. There's beauty in this, but, it all gets let down again later.

Trigger warnings: Very bad treating of a child by his parents because he's different: abandoning and emotional abuse, described in a vivid way. Every word you can think of is used to insult him and his wings and it's used constantly. Threatening to remove wings in surgery. Threatening to rip off wings. May spoil the story ) Some slight ED triggers.

More thoughts... )
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A boy feels disappointed with the new home his family move to, so he tries to get back to the old home using wings from a mysterious wing shop, but it doesn't go as he planned. I loved the pictures in this book... they have a soft delicate watercolour feeling and lots and lots of detail. Sadly the pictures are the only good things about it... the story is very silly and simple, even for children, and the boy doesn't feel any connection to the wings at all. I don't recommend it unless you just want to look at the pictures... they could make some very beautiful art on a wall.

Writing: Sadly not that good... I think that the message of the story is supposed to be "if your family makes you move home, don't worry, you will like the new place anyway. Also don't try anything silly to get back to the old one". For a story about wings it's very anti-wonder... I mean... what child wants to read a story where all it says is, in a really over-the-top and not subtle way, "you will end up liking this thing you really don't like now and you shouldn't misbehave or you will get into trouble"? I think a parent would buy this for their child to try and make them feel better, but it's not so good for the children.

From a winged person's perspective...: Lots of beautiful pictures... but that's it. There aren't any things in this story that a winged person would connect with I don't think... the boy only wants the wings so he can get home. Not because he wants to fly at all. And the book doesn't have much to do with the sense of wonder.

Trigger warnings: None that I can see.

More thoughts...: Heh... it's hard to have more thoughts about this book because it is a really simple book, just like what I said above. A lot of children's picture books come up in my search for flying books somehow. Some of them are good for even adults, but this one is not so much, and it's not even good for younger children. I give it one out of five, but the art is a four out of five.
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