Tico and the Golden Wings

Common Sense Media says

Elegant fable of generosity & independent spirit.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The bird wins his feathers and friends by helping others.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the golden wings sparkling on the cover of this updated Lionni classic hint at the beauty of the fable told within. The gentle, positive lesson holds nothing negative and will resonate with kids and adults alike.

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What's the story?

Tico is a bird who was born with no wings. When his wish for a pair of golden wings is finally granted, his envious friends want nothing to do with him. Then, by helping others, he earns his real wings and also the friendship of his fellow birds.

Is it any good?


TICO AND THE GOLDEN WINGS, like the many other remarkable fables by Leo Lionni, is a book to enjoy and savor both for its artwork and its story. First issued in 1964, this new version has an even more elegant look than the original. Against a glossy white background, Tico's wings are printed in gold metallic. Together with the shiny black print and graceful green, veined leaves, the cover alone promises a journey into a book full of beautifully simple yet intricate illustrations. The fable itself is simple yet intricate, and offers a valuable lesson: "We are all different. Each for his own memories, and his own invisible golden dreams."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the little bird and his dream. What was wrong with wishing for golden wings? What lesson did Tico learn as he began giving his golden feathers to people who needed them more than he did?

Book details

Author:Leo Lionni
Illustrator:Leo Lionni
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:August 11, 2007
Number of pages:32

This review of Tico and the Golden Wings was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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