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A Feather on a Wing

Written and illustrated by Maria Speyer
Reviewed by Sandy Driessens
“Are you there?  It’s so lonely in the dark!”
The lights are off, it’s bedtime and a little girl calls to her sister, who shares her room. Sensing her fear, the older sibling reassures her that she is not alone, indeed, that she is an integral part of everything. There would be no showers, without each drop of rain. There would be no tree, without branches. A bird can’t fly without each feather in its wings.
Danish-born, Maria Speyer, has created this lovely lullaby in the form of a book. The cover announces the tone of the book with the siblings, arms outstretched, sharing the joy of flight in a watery blue/grey night sky. The gold embossing ties in the importance of each feather.
The end pages are fluttering with pastel-coloured feathers of different shapes and sizes. With a Scandinavian feel, each double page spread image is filled with loose sketches in soft water colour that creates movement and comfort. The siblings are identifiable in their turquoise and coral and Speyer has added subtle details that add to the joy of the story.
As her first English-language book, Speyer has stretched the rhyming couplets over 4 pages to slow the pace of the read or perhaps to make time to sing it as a lullaby. The metaphors used to create the connections are delightful and with the repetition of “you are”, the focus remains squarely on the person, to whom it is being “sung”.
With the message that you are not alone but an important part of a wonderful whole, A Feather on a Wing is a lovely comforting message for people of all ages, whatever their “dark” may be. The musical notation and lyrics written in the back, encourage it to be sung at bedtime. It would certainly be comforting for little ones 2 to 8 years old.
Teacher’s Notes 
University of Queensland Press 2022   
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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