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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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1341289,677 (3.54)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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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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 |
Reason for Reading: I am quite fond of David Almond as an author. He reminds me of Roald Dahl with his mixture of humour and darkness but he isn't so obvious as Dahl.

This certainly is a quite a beautiful story. Using metaphors and imagery of flight and birds to help a father and daughter overcome the grief from the death of the mother makes for a touching story. On the surface we have a silly, whimsical, humorous story of a dad who is turning into a bird so he can win the Great Human Bird Competition, right down to living on bugs and worms and building a huge nest in the middle of the kitchen floor. Underneath the story is about a man who literally looses his mind when his wife dies and becomes obsessed with birds while the daughter takes on the parental role of looking after him, to see him through this rough patch.

The story is hilarious with the antics of dad; then enter Auntie Doreen and her baking dumplings as a cure for everything that ails one and throwing them when it doesn't work. There is a riot of colour and silliness when the Great Human Bird Competition begins and we see and watch all the other contestants as they try to fly over the river to win money in all sorts of contraptions and get ups. But there is a small darkness beneath everything that gradually lightens throughout the story. The mom's death is only barely even referred to; the words death and die are never used. Underlying the dad's silly behaviour is his grief, to the astute reader, and underneath the daughter's looking after her dad is the need to know he is still there for her. They both need to know that though mom is gone they still have each other. Through the use of birds, flight, metaphors and other references to going up they let their grief go and one can even feel a religiousness in the upward/skyward theme if one's thoughts turn that way. A touching, yet hilarious story. ( )
  ElizaJane | Apr 17, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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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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