By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gorgeous art lifts inventive fantasy quest.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The emphasis is on spectacle and adventure. But the book offers an opportunity to discuss spirituality and caring for the natural world.
The spiriual world is connected by the branches of the Great Tree. Diverse chracters can work together for a common goal.
Positive Role Models
Raised by mystical bird spirits, Zuli is selected to leave the sanctuary of the Great Tree to rescue missing spirits. She's compassionate, brave, resourceful, empathetic, and advised by her guardian owl, Frowly.
Zuli is Black with completely human features. Goblins have green skin and horns. Other characters have dog-like features and dark facial fur.
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Violence & Scariness
Zuli and her companions face scary situations, real danger, and engage in magical battles in which no one gets seriously hurt.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wingbearer is a fantasy graphic novel written by Marjorie Liu (Monstress) and illustrated by Teny Issakhanian. It focuses on young girl Zuli's search for missing bird spirits. Zuli is Black, and her goblin companion has green skin. There's some magic-based violence, but no serious injuries.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
As WINGBEARER opens, young girl Zuli learns that the bird spirits that usually live in the Great Tree, where Zuli was raised, are disappearing. She'll have to venture outside her familiar world, accompanied by her owl friend, Frowly, a goblin thief in exile, and a giant flying snake.
Is It Any Good?
This inventive graphic novel starts on a unique note and creates an engaging, dynamically drawn adventure featuring dragons, gryphons, and witches. Like the main character, Zuli, readers will be swept up by the quest to understand the disappearance of the bird and animal spirits. Though there are many fantasy settings to choose from, author Marjorie Liu and illustrator Teny Issakhanian start from scratch in building their imaginative world. The narrative is fairly talky and a little confusing, but the gorgeous artwork more than makes up for it. The ending is left wide open, and readers will be eager for the second installment.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Windbearer illustrates a spiritual world. What religions here on Earth worship trees?
Why do folklore and myth frequently deal with a "Chosen One"?
How can members of different cultures work together to achieve a common goal?
- Author: Marjorie Liu
- Illustrator: Teny Issakhahian
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Courage, Empathy
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Quill Tree Books
- Publication date: April 19, 2022
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 208
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: April 29, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
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