King of the Sky
King of the Sky
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Annotation: When a young boy moves from his home in Italy to Wales, the only thing that cheers him up are the racing pigeons that Mr. Evans keeps in a loft behind his house.
Catalog Number: #138252
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-9568-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-9568-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017942654
Dimensions: 25 x 29 cm.
Subject Heading:
Language: English
Horn Book
An elderly Welsh miner and a boy unwillingly transplanted from Rome bond over homing pigeons in this atmospheric and hopeful tale of immigration and friendship. The narrative follows the pair as they train Mr. Evans's pigeons, including one the boy names King of the Sky. Davies's poetic language includes moments of precise description; Carlin's smudgy, near-transparent mixed-media illustrations capture the essences of the old and new homelands.
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It's difficult to determine what works best in this tender, simple tale. There's a young boy, newly arrived from Italy, who does not feel like he belongs in strange, rainy Wales; an old man, bowed and broken from spending most of his life in the mines; and a racing pigeon, King of the Sky. The boy's first-person commentary achingly expresses his loneliness and sense of alienation, and the beautiful mixed-media illustrations, which have the smudged and dreamlike quality of watercolors, align perfectly, setting scenes that capture moods and the rainy setting, provide insights, and engage readers, from the cover to sweeping two-page spreads to the endpapers, which are filled with pigeons in a variety of forms. The pigeon's struggles during a long-distance race are poignantly portrayed, as is the boy's jubilation when King returns as a champion. This lovely story will resonate with any child who has felt out of place, whether a transfer student in a new school or an immigrant in a new country. This will work for group readings, but will be much more special for one-on-one sharing, where readers can absorb the language and pore over the detailed, nuanced pictures. This is a unique and very special book.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (8/1/17)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/18)
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: K-3
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

In this tale of a young boy, an old man, and a dauntless pigeon, a lyrical text and extraordinary illustrations offer a gorgeous meditation on loneliness, belonging, and home.

A young Italian boy has moved to the Welsh hills with his family. He feels isolated and unhappy, a stranger in a strange land. It is only when he makes an unlikely friend, an old man who lets him fly one of his pigeons in a race, that he learns how he can belong. Nicola Davies’s beautiful story — an immigrant’s tale with powerful resonance in our troubled times — is illustrated by an artist who makes the world anew with every picture.

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