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My dad's a birdman by David Almond
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My dad's a birdman (edition 2008)

by David Almond

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11810102,161 (3.48)3
Member:Raina-Raine
Title:My dad's a birdman
Authors:David Almond
Info:Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2008.
Collections:INFM 208
Rating:****
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 9 (next | show all)
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 |
If you like Roald Dahl books you may especially enjoy this story by David Almond: My Dad's a Birdman.

In some families, a parent takes care of the children. They cook, clean, make sure the children do their homework, all those kinds of things.

In some families, the child has to be in charge. That's how it is with Lizzie.

And her father, dreams of doing big things. Not very practical things. The kinds of things that Auntie Doreen gets really upset about.

And sometimes even in the middle of an impractical, unrealistic plan, a family can laugh and grow closer to each other.
  fantasticstorytime | Dec 22, 2010 |
What a funny silly story! Odd but interesting with peculiar people who dare to attempt to do an unusual thing. Lizzie's Dad is the birdman who is obsessed about the flying contest and does everyting to make himself into a birds so he can fly. He wears feathers, sits in nest, eats worms. Lizzie gets into the act too much to the dismay of her Aunt Doreen. Then there is Mr. Poop who is charge of the contest. British humor at its best. A fun read aloud with interesting character development. Children and adults will wonder why Dad does the things he does and why Lizzie joined him. There are other threads in the story to consider. ( )
  MarthaL | Apr 26, 2010 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:22 -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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