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My dad's a birdman by David Almond

My dad's a birdman (edition 2008)

by David Almond

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1401385,666 (3.6)3
Title:My dad's a birdman
Authors:David Almond
Info:Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2008.
Collections:INFM 208
Tags:children's literature, juvenile fiction, father-daughter relationships, chapter books, grief, fantasy, loyalty

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My Dad's A Birdman by David Almond



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This book was about a little girl called Lizzie who's dad is joining the Human Birdman Competition. The competition was 'who can be a bird and use a technique to fly over the Tyne'. Obviously Lizzie doesn't understand, but when she and her dad make a bird's nest, two crests, too beaks, two pairs of wings and signs up on Mr Poop's document, she understands that her dad is just that little bit crazy.

Lizzie's auntie, Doreen, thinks that this is all utter nonsense (which it is) and calls in Lizzie's head teacher, Mr Mint, to take Lizzie away from her dad's craziness. But Lizzie doesn't want to, and in the end, she and her clever dad (and even Mr Mint) all entered the competition...

...And failed.

"But that doesn't matter, Dad," Lizzie would keep saying, "We had fun making the beaks and crests and wings - and it's not over. We can do that again. So it's not bad that we failed. It would be better if we won, but we didn't, and that's fine."

This book was more of a strange one, and David Almond must have had a very odd imagination to come up with a man who'd like to enter a bird competition. But some people do have odd ideas, and I'm not saying that David's book wasn't good and that David was weird. ( )
  LaviniaRossetti | Sep 6, 2016 |
Impressive. Subtle & beautifully crafted fable of loss and rebirth, a counterpoint response to the story of Daedalus & Icarus. The casual reader will enjoy it as a funny story, with charming illustrations - but upon re-reading will appreciate language and metaphor and themes. I don't want to spoil it for you so I won't say more - it's short, so you can find the time to make it yourself.

I will say that if you appreciate the juveniles by [a:James Thurber|16839|James Thurber|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1183238729p2/16839.jpg], like[b:The 13 Clocks|143126|The 13 Clocks|James Thurber|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1293669643s/143126.jpg|2099329] and [b:Many Moons|73002|Many Moons|James Thurber|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1223647821s/73002.jpg|19210930], you'll also enjoy this. I think I'll have to re-read Almond's [b:Skellig|24271|Skellig (Skellig, #1)|David Almond|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320460285s/24271.jpg|960] now that I have a better sense of how to read what he writes. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This amusing story can be interpreted in different ways: live your life to the fullest, find the joy in life, love holds everyone together even in the dark times. Lizzie cares for her father in the wake of her mother's death (only briefly mentioned late in the book) and lovingly indulges him when he becomes obsessed with the Great Human Bird Competition. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
The story as always is well told, I just prefer his darker eccentric characters. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
My Dad's a Birdman was written by David Almond, who won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award for writing, and illustrated by Polly Dunbar. It was originally published in 2007 by Candlewick Press.

Young Lizzie is concerned about her father, who has been acting strangely ever since her mother died. He has been building a set of wings, eating bugs and worms, and working on learning to fly. When the "Great Human Bird Competition" comes to town, Lizzie decides to enter with her dad, in the process gently helping him to redefine the line between reality and fantasy, and reminding him of the importance of family and love, even in the face of loss.

This quirky little novel is beautifully and subtly written, with memorable characters, including not only Lizzie and her dad, but Lizzie's Aunt Doreen and teacher, Mr. Mint. The writing is perfectly complemented by Dunbar's whimsical and colourful illustrations.

Children will enjoy the offbeat plot, and will be able to identify with the way Lizzie's dad gets so involved in his fantasy. They will especially appreciate the role reversal between the wise young Lizzie and her father, which is so cleverly and comically portrayed. This book is appropriate for ages 6 to 10. ( )
  Raina-Raine | Dec 3, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763636673, Hardcover)

Join a young girl and her dad as they find their wings and take to the skies in a joyful, quirky, tender tale from a masterful author and illustrator.

In a rainy town in the north of England, there are strange goings-on. Dad is building a pair of wings, eating flies, and feathering his nest. Auntie Doreen is getting cross and making dumplings. Contest barker Mr. Poop is parading the streets shouting louder and louder, and even Mr. Mint, the headmaster, is not quite himself. And watching it all is Lizzie, missing her mam and looking after Dad by letting him follow his newfound whimsy. From an inspired creative pairing comes a story of the Great Human Bird Competition — a poignant, exuberant tale of the healing power of flights of fancy, and a very special father-and-daughter bond.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In a rainy town in the north of England, there are strange goings-on. Dad is building a pair of wings, eating flies, and feathering his nest. Lizzie is missing her Mom and looking after Dad by letting him follow his newfound whimsy. What's behind it all? It's the great human bird competition.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Candlewick Press

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