The Adventures of Sparrowboy

Overview

Something mysterious is about to happen on Thurber Street.
ZAP!
Will the events of one afternoon change Henry's life forever?

After an encounter with a sparrow, Henry finds he is able to fly just like his favorite comic book hero HawkMan.

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Overview

Something mysterious is about to happen on Thurber Street.
ZAP!
Will the events of one afternoon change Henry's life forever?

After an encounter with a sparrow, Henry finds he is able to fly just like his favorite comic book hero HawkMan.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though sobering front-page headlines worry a young paperboy, the comicsespecially a strip called Falconmanlift him up. Quite literally, in fact. After Henry peruses a Falconman strip in which a magical falcon converts a police trooper into a superman by lending him the power to fly, the boy's bike collides with a similarly gifted sparrow. Suddenly airborne, the boy delivers his newspapers in flight while saving innocent neighbors from a menacing bully and his growling pooch. For the course of Henry's transformation, the book adopts a comic-strip format, accenting the boxed, action-filled pictures with brief, punchy text and a chorus of sound effects like "CHIRP!", "WHOOSH!" and "THONK!" In a final, satisfying coup, Henry comes to the rescue of the benevolent sparrow, vulnerable because it has temporarily relinquished its powers of flight to Henry, a development that readers will delight in discovering before the boy does. The plot unravels chiefly through Pinkney's (Max Found Two Sticks; see I Smell Honey, reviewed above) airy, motion-filled art, expertly rendered in scratchboard, transparent dyes and gouaches in creamy colors never before seen in a comic book. Clever quips and asides add humor and playful melodrama. Pinkney clearly had a blast creating this soaring story, and his high spirits are transferable to the readerZAP! Ages 4-9. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1Fretting over headlines in the newspapers he's delivering, Henry almost runs over a sparrow on the sidewalk. There's a flash of light, and suddenly, like his comic-strip hero Falconman, the boy is swooping through the skies fighting evilor, at least, collaring a scary dog, rescuing a cat from a bully's clutches, and repeatedly snatching the temporarily flightless sparrow out of danger in the nick of time. Like newspaper comics, Pinkney's full-color scratchboard scenes are done in page-sized panels, with a minimum of text but maximum action, dramatized by swirling lines, wide gestures, and "THONK!" "ZAP!" sound effects. Henry's heroics will win readers over instantly; he may not save the world, but before he returns to Earth, he does make his suburban neighborhood "just a little better." That's a plausible goal for any actual or would-be superhero.John Peters, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Comics, superheroes, and saving the day come together on the route of an ordinary paperboy with newfound powers of flight.

Pinkney (Max Found Two Sticks, 1994, etc.) finds trouble on sleepy Thurber Street when a bully named Bruno and his dog, Wolf, stir up the neighborhood. Enter Henry, the local newspaper delivery boy, and something of a junior Clark Kent do-gooder. Without benefit of phone booth or cape, he is zapped by a small sparrow and zooms into the air as Sparrowboy. Inspired by Falconman, a superhero from the pages of the newspapers he delivers, Sparrowboy thwarts Wolf's attack on two local boys, rescues a neighborhood cat from the torments of Bruno, and saves a mysteriously flightless sparrow from the jaws of a cat, returning home where everything feels just a little better. Pinkney's scratchboard illustrations give a nod to comic-strip art by breaking several of the spreads into storyboard panels, complete with headers and action words set into comic-style compositions. Comic book enthusiasts will find plenty of action here and feel just a little better for having curled up with this high-flying armchair adventure.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689810718
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/11/1997
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.40 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Pinkney is one of the most celebrated talents in children's publishing. In his career he has won two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King medal, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and three Coretta Scott King Honors. For Simon & Schuster he illustrated The Faithful Friend, which won the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor, Sukey and the Mermaid, which won the Coretta Scott King Honor, and The Adventures of Sparrowboy, which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, New York -- which is where this story takes place.

Brian Pinkney is one of the most celebrated talents in children's publishing. In his career he has won two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King medal, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and three Coretta Scott King Honors. For Simon & Schuster he illustrated The Faithful Friend, which won the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor, Sukey and the Mermaid, which won the Coretta Scott King Honor, and The Adventures of Sparrowboy, which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, New York -- which is where this story takes place.

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