Cover of The Boy Who Had Wings by Jane Yolen

Boy Who Had Wings, The

Another one of my original fairy tales, this story came out of our nine-month camping trip in Europe, and especially our time in Greece. A boy with wings is born into a poor herder’s family, and he is considered deformed. But when he saves his father during a freak snow storm, he is suddenly considered a hero and–eventually–a saint. He is happy only when his wings, frozen in the storm–fall off–and he is accepted into his family and his village. I realized long after the book was written that it was about my being a writer, and how my talent had been a burden in high school, when all I wanted was to be one of the popular crowd. The German illustrator, Helga Aichinger’s very European paintings have a coolness to them that seems well suited to the tale. The book was also published in Germany as “Der Knabe mit den Wundersamen Fluegeln.”

Recording: THE BOY WHO HAD WINGS is told by Milbre Burch in her storytelling tape, “The Ready Heart: More Jane Yolen Stories.” KindCrone Publications.

What reviewers have said:

  • * starred review “A classical blend of clean writing and illustration. . .a complex commentary on freedom and limitation, society and the individual. The wax-crayon pictures, with their strong Oriental line work and flat dimension, deepened under close scrutiny just as the story does.”–Booklist
  • “The simple story is set off to best advantage by the impressive full page wax-crayon paintings. . . “—School Library Journal
  • “Told with the economy of a folk tale. . .Distinction is brought to the book by the full-page wax-crayon illustrations.”—Horn Book