Feathers – Phil Cummings, Illustrated by Phil Lesnie

This beautifully illustrated children’s picture book sends a message of kindness and the security and safety of a home and the sense of place it brings. In the story the reader follows the flight of a sandpiper as it flies to its winter home.  Along its flight path it looses a feather that is picked up by a boy whose home has been destroyed in an earthquake, to a girl who is travelling to a safer place as a refugee and finally to a little girl in a safe, happy home in the bird’s wintering grounds.

When I read this to my  grade 1’s and 2’s they were silent at first and because I work in a very rural school where we have no refugees I began to explain very simply about how different people did not have safe homes but they did. Then we looked at the story again and they began to ask very thoughtful questions and think about how lucky they were to be able to go to a safe home on the bus. This is a wonderful, gentle book that packs a powerful message for children. I would definitely read it to older students as well and it is a great anchor book for SEL lessons as well as for an intermediate writing lesson.

Stars: 5+

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