My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lyrical and compelling like the very best of songs, The Wishbird is a triumph of simple storytelling and immediately engaging characters. So drawn into this story of Boy and Oriole was I, that I ended up finishing it in one day!
Boy is a child of the streets, forced into a life of crime to survive when his parents are taken away for being musical – illegal in the City of Soulless (once known as the City of Solace). Oliver Twist and Boy have much in common – both orphans who are forced to work for a hard and cruel task master and live in squalor.
Oriole has lived in a Banyan tree in the Forest under the care of The Wishbird, Mellow, for as long as she can remember. She, too, is an orphan, but cared for by the gentle and simple birds she has led a very different life to Boy. She has the “Singing Tongue” and when she uses her voice it is magical.
Mellow is dying, and Oriole is sent to the walled city of Soulless to see the King and beg him to reunite with his Wishbird, Mellow in order to save them both.
Oriole and Boy connect and together they start a quest to save the kingdom, the King, Mellow and themselves.
There are villains, and heros in disguise, all supported by the beautiful, lilting language of Gabrielle Wang. I could not put this story down once I had met the characters. Gabrielle’s delighful drawings appear throughout, which was an added bonus – helping me to see the characters as she imagined them.
I would give this 10 stars if I could!
For ages 10 and up. Wonderful.