Woodpecker Girl (paperback) Trade Book

Written By Chingyen Liu, I-Tsun Chiang
Illustrated by Heidi Doll
Critically Reviewed
Award Winner
A little girl was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that rendered her wheelchair bound. One day, her art teacher affixed a paintbrush to her forehead with a headband. From then, the little girl was able to express herself and freely explore the world through her paintings.
  1. PaperBack
    Price $8.95
SKU WW-NL5602
ISBN 9781478869559
Number Level 34
Letter Level O
SKU WW-NL5602
ISBN 9781478869559
Number Level 34
Lexile level 1550L
Letter Level O
Series Reycraft Books
Language English
BISAC Subject Headings Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Values & Virtues
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Values & Virtues
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings
Price $8.95
Awards

School Library Journal Best Book 2020 Winner

Author & Illustrator

Chingyen Liu & I-Tsun Chaing

Chingyen Liu writes children’s books and hosts radio and TV shows. When he first met Yipei, on which Woodpecker Girl is based, he was amazed at her talent, and drive to overcome her physical limitations due to cerebral palsy. Watching her paint helped him decide how to write and structure the book. He worked closely with I-Tsun CHIANG, a professor of special education at National Taiwan Normal University, to review and edit the story. Mr. Chiang has been working for years helping people with multiple handicaps, including cerebral palsy.

Heidi Doll

Heidi Doll enjoys nature, animals, and long walks, but most importantly painting. She lives by the sea in Taiwan. She was deeply moved by the story of Yipei because she shares the same passion for painting but has none of the physical limitations. She decided to combine some of Yipei’s artwork in this book and mimic her style and brighter color choices. She drew a woodpecker on every spread to represent Yipei to encourage her to soar with her ideas and talents. The rabbit throughout the book represents her as the guardian of Yipei’s dreams. She hopes the book glitters like the nighttime stars in the hearts of the children all over the world who read it.

Reviews

  PreS-Gr 4–In simple language, Yipei Huang, a young girl in a ghostly white wheelchair, explains how her cerebral palsy may have originated, spends quiet days watching others run around playing, sees her sister romp with their puppy, and wonders what it might be like if she could sing. The authors never dip into pathos, but give the story strength with a matter-of-fact approach. In illustrations that have the look of gouache dreamscapes, readers will observe a woodpecker who soars through every frame, a white bunny, and the solitary days of our heroine. An art teacher, observing the movements of her head, fits her with a band and a brush she can dip into colors and dot onto pages, and then the narrator soars, too. It is exhausting to create in this manner, she tells us, but it is what she loves, and it makes her forget everything else. Only in the back matter do we learn that Yipei Huang’s story is true and that her classmates named her “Woodpecker Girl” after watching her work. The illustrations incorporate Yipei’s own pieces, and it should surprise no one if the children who come across this book want to try being woodpeckers themselves. VERDICT The art-filled lesson that “an imperfect body can also lead to a perfect life” excludes no one from its net. A wistful, wondrous work.

Copyright ┬® REYCRAFT BOOKS 2020