After a visit to the library last week, we came home with ten new picture books. The first one the kids chose to read was Wings by Christopher Myers, a book with colorful collage illustrations which complement the story beautifully.
The story is a sad one, but with a rather happy and hopeful end, undoubtedly guaranteed to give its readers a surge of joy and inspiration, and courage to speak up for those who can't. At least, that's what it did for me and my boys—and our little visitors that day.
Wings is about a boy named Ikarus Jackson, who clearly stands out from the crowd. Because he has wings, the kids in his neighbourhood, at school, and even his teacher neither understand nor accept him, and are very quick to judge and point their fingers. Ikarus goes from a fun-loving child at the beginning of the story, to a much sadder one later on, after all the snickering and isolation finally get to him.
One girl, a quiet girl, thinks Ikarus is amazing. She watches as the others mock Ikarus Jackson and exclude him from their games. She feel bad for him; she knows what it feels like to be left out because you're different.
The author illustrates at the end of the story what a difference one person's courage to speak up can make in another person's life, a difference which ripples through the communities we live in, and eventually the world.
A beautiful book about kindness and courage; a must-read for everyone, young and old!