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Review of "A Wish for Wings That Work"

By Berkeley Breathed
Little, Brown, 1991
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Nov 27th 2002
A Wish for Wings That Work

This short picture book for young children tells the story of Opus the penguin who wishes he could fly. But being a penguin, his wings don’t work. He writes a letter to Santa asking for new wings and posts it with every confidence that he will be flying on Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve, Santa’s sleigh has an accident and Opus is woken in the middle of the night by a snow duck telling him to come quickly. When Opus sees Santa standing on his sinking sleigh, he swiftly swims to bring Santa to safety. On Christmas morning, Opus is rewarded when hundreds of snow ducks arrive at his front door and lift Opus into the air and grant his wish to experience flying. The story shows that even if there are some things one cannot do, there are other things that one can do, and this is an excellent moral for young children who may be frustrated by their limitations. The color illustrations are particularly sweet, full of small details that will please the observant reader.


© 2002 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life, and he is keen to help foster communication between philosophers, mental health professionals, and the general public.