Cover image for Feather
Title:
Feather
Author:
Cao, Wenxuan, 1954- author.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Yu mao. English
Publication Information:
Brooklyn, NY : Elsewhere Editions, [an imprint of Archipelago Books], [2017]

[New York] : distributed by Penguin Random House,

©2017
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 18 x 30 cm
Summary:
A single feather, blown about by the wind, asks a variety of birds if she belongs to them but is dismissed time and again until she gives up her quest.
General Note:
Originally published: Beijing : China Children Press & Publication Group, 2013.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780914671855
Format :
Book

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J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Cao Wenxuan's Feather tells the story of a single feather that is helplessly swept away on a journey of self discovery and belonging. Encountering a variety of birds, from a kingfisher to a magpie, the feather is hopeful of meeting the bird it belongs to. Again and again, the feather is ignored. Only when it calmly accepts that perhaps it is simply a feather with no bird to call its own does fate offer a reunion... Feather's appeal to young children is derived from a plot that is at once compelling, meditative, and full of adventure, aided by the dynamic, colourful illustrations of Roger Mello.


Author Notes

Cao Wenxuan is the author of Bronze and Sunflower. She won the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award for writing.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Am I yours?" a feather asks each bird she meets. She's searching for the one who dropped her: "If I belonged to a bird, I could fly even higher!" Mello-like Cao, a recent winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award-traces the balletic curves of bird forms: a heron's neck ("You aren't mine," the heron says), the outstretched wings of geese (they ignore Feather), the tail of a peacock ("Perhaps you haven't looked carefully enough"). A skylark grants Feather's wish and carries her aloft, then meets a dreadful fate in the talons of a hawk: "Feather heard the sound of a scream in the air." Feather's heritage, she discovers, is less grand than she imagined-but it's her own. Mello's artwork offers countless delights: the plumage of the birds, contrasting backdrops that make the colors blaze, and liberal use of empty space. Cao's story has the timeless quality of a traditional folk tale (and the brutality of one, with its offstage murder), and it speaks to the way that desires have consequences that can't be calculated. It's not comfort Feather's search offers, but truth and beauty. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Wenxuan has created a picture book that tells the hopeful tale of a single feather as it embarks on a journey to find out where it came from and where it belongs. As a feather, it travels on the wind without a particular direction, but it hopes to discover a personal connection to the world. Along the way, the feather meets many different birds and asks, "Do I belong to you?" Again and again it is rebuffed by kingfisher, magpie, heron, and others, but never loses hope. Finally, the realization that there may never be an answer is calmly accepted as it meets its fate in the talons of a hawk. Wenxuan is a professor of literature at Peking University and winner of the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award. In this folktale, he recognizes that searching does not always end in an expected result, but is still a valuable quest for truth. The story is enhanced by the incomparable illustrations of Roger Mello, who has created strikingly beautiful spreads of the feather's encounter with each of the birds it meets. He highlights their gorgeous plumage including the tail of the peacock and the wings of the geese and then places them strategically on dynamic, full-color backgrounds that match this adventure of discovery. Garcia-Roberts has deftly translated this tale from the original Chinese with language that truly captures the poignancy of never giving up on your search for truth. "If I belonged to a bird, I could fly even higher!" VERDICT An amazing picture book that could be paired with classic titles, used to introduce a bird unit on adaptations, or just shared as the wonderful read-aloud it is. Highly recommended.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

One day, a little boy and a little girl walked by Feather. They picked her up and passed her back and forth looking at her. When they threw her back to the ground and started to walk away, Feather heard the little girl ask the little boy, "What kind of bird is that feather from?" Yes, what kind of bird do I belong to? thought Feather. And from that moment on, she began to ask herself that question all the time. A strong burst of wind came along and blew Feather up into the sky. The feeling of fluttering high in the air was delightful. If I belonged to a bird, I could fly even higher! she thought. How she longed for the sky! How she longed to soar! Feather drifted down onto a tree by the waterside. A kingfisher was perched there on a branch, head tilted, silently watching the water's surface. Feather shyly asked the kingfisher, "Am I yours?" The kingfisher did not respond to her and suddenly plunged into the water. After a moment, it flew back up with a small silvery fish still wriggling in its mouth. The kingfisher flew to the tree branch again, and again tilting its head, sat silently watching the water's surface. Feather asked the kingfisher over and over, "Am I yours?" But the kingfisher was so focused on catching fish it completely ignored her. Feather waited silently. At long last, when the kingfisher was no longer busy, it turned its head, took a long look at Feather and said, "You are not mine." A strong burst of wind came along and blew Feather up into the sky. A cuckoo flew by alongside her. "Am I yours?" Feather inquired. The cuckoo was so focused on calling out cuckoo, cuckoo to people that it didn't pay any attention to Feather. The wind kept blowing and Feather kept floating in the sky. When the cuckoo came flying back around, Feather once again inquired, "Am I yours?" The cuckoo turned its head, took a long look, and said, "Not mine! Not mine!" Feather drifted down by the side of a pond. In the shallow water was a heron looking for food. Feather asked the heron, "Am I yours?" The heron, focused on continuing its search, paid no attention to her. Excerpted from Feather by Cao Wenxuan, Roger Mello All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.