My Dad’s a Birdman

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By Huw Thomas — headteacher and writer

In the third article in our contemporary fiction series, discover the enchanting and poignant tale of family life and flying contraptions

My Dad's a Bridman

My Dad’s a Birdman

David Almond’s My Dad’s a Birdman (illustrated by Polly Dunbar, Walker, £8.99 HB) tells the tale of Lizzie, who following the loss of her Mum, is left caring for her father, with the result that she has trouble making it to school every day. On one such occasion, she spies on her dad and discovers that he is creating a bird costume using both feathers and faith. He even plans to enter a flying contest.

A period of tension follows as Lizzie’s Auntie Doreen tries to inject some sense into proceedings, supported by Mr Mint, Lizzie’s headteacher. But, as the flying contest approaches, the battle between dreams and common sense takes some enchanting turns.

The following activities pick up on the emotions behind these dreams, and the way that in My Dad’s a Birdman, like in many other similar stories, they spring from gritty reality.

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