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Featherless/Desplumado

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At his new school or on the soccer field, all everyone wants to know is why Tomasito is in a wheelchair. His father gives Tomasito a new pet to make him smile, but this bird is a little bit different. Can Tomasito's featherless friend teach him that there's more than one way to fly? Will the cheers Tomasito hears on the sidelines ever be for him?

Award-winning author and poet Juan Felipe Herrera scores yet again with this sparkling story of friendship and self-empowerment. The ...

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Overview

At his new school or on the soccer field, all everyone wants to know is why Tomasito is in a wheelchair. His father gives Tomasito a new pet to make him smile, but this bird is a little bit different. Can Tomasito's featherless friend teach him that there's more than one way to fly? Will the cheers Tomasito hears on the sidelines ever be for him?

Award-winning author and poet Juan Felipe Herrera scores yet again with this sparkling story of friendship and self-empowerment. The brilliant acrylic paintings by Ernesto Cuevas, Jr., burst off the page with sheer joy.

Although Tomasito's spina bifida keeps him in a wheelchair, where he often feels as confined as his flightless and featherless pet bird, he discovers that he can feel free when he is on the soccer field.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is a story of a boy who gets his wings. Tomasito is an elementary-schooler who feels different because his spina bifida requires him to use a wheelchair. He has trouble making friends in his new town, and grows tired of not being able to do what his classmates can. His father gives him Featherless, a pet bird, which should comfort Tomasito but, instead, it emphasizes Tomasito's difference. Yet as Tomasito begins to test his mettle on the soccer field, and realize that he may be able to play with the others, he gains hope for Featherless. The bird begins to represent Tomasito's quest for himself, and he tries to change the bird as he changes himself. Not only is the story of Tomasito on the soccer field appealing, but the boy's featherless sidekick also piques the reader's curiosity as a parallel to Tomasito's own situation. This book has a compelling story of finding one's own way that will entertain readers, regardless of background. It can also serve as a beginning to a discussion of the issues of the differently-abled. Cuevas's illustrations are bright and friendly and sure to hold interest. 2004, Children's Book Press, Ages 6 to 8.
—Veronica Betancourt
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Tomasito is having a hard time adjusting to his new school. Even though he wants to do what the other kids do, spina bifida keeps him wheelchair bound. To help him with his transition, his supportive and loving father gives him a new pet. Desplumado is a featherless bird that cannot fly. But, as Tomasito learns with the help of a new friend, there is more than one way to fly, and more than one way to play soccer. He is great at heading the ball, and as his participation and inclusion in the Fresno Flyers soccer team becomes a reality. Herrera's prose poem is a paean to those children who overcome adversity to create inclusion. Cuevas's oil illustrations, with forms surrounded by heavy black lines, work well in the soccer scenes but seem lumpy and inert in the indoor scenes, where the hues are darker and muddier. Still, this title could be used for a storytime focus on acceptance and tolerance and in ELL programs. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892391950
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/9/2004
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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