A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story

Berkeley Breathed, Author Little Brown and Company $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-10758-7
Opus, penguin star of Breathed's ``Bloom County'' comic strip, possesses a simple, childlike soul--no wonder, then, that young readers find him appealing. What does prove surprising is that, in his first book for children, Breathed achieves just the right balance of sweetness and levity. This is definitely not an adult book thinly disguised as a children's book, but a work that little ones will love for its own magic and logic, and for Opus's final, well-deserved triumph. It's Christmastime, and Opus, wearing his customary red bow tie and his seasonal red cap, bemoans the fact that he is a bird that can't fly: ``I might as well have been born a snail. Or a slice of melba toast.'' He sends a heartfelt letter to Santa, and on Christmas Eve, Opus gets a chance to earn his wings. The deliciously satisfying conclusion perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas, and Breathed's art is an entrancing mix of comic-book sketchiness and full-color, full-blown scenes that rival the very best of Disney. Not many books fit the bill as treats for ``children of all ages,'' but this one could top the list. All ages. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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