Wings of Icarus: A Bloomsbury Reader

Wings of Icarus: A Bloomsbury Reader

By Author / Illustrator

Jenny Oldfield, Bee Willey


Myths & Legends

Age range(s)



Bloomsbury Publishing PLC




Paperback / softback




A gripping retelling of the classic Greek myth by bestselling author Jenny Oldfield.  Daedalus can see how much his impulsive, restless son Icarus longs to escape their island prison. When his cunning plan to get them across the sea fails, Daedalus comes up with an even more dangerous invention: wings to take them to the skies. This accessible retelling of the renowned Greek myth has appealing black-and-white illustrations by Bee Willey and is perfect for children who are developing as readers. 

The Bloomsbury Readers series is packed with brilliant books to get children reading independently in Key Stage 2, with book-banded stories by award-winning authors like double Carnegie Medal winner Geraldine McCaughrean and Waterstones Prize winner Patrice Lawrence covering a wide range of genres and topics. With charming illustrations, ideas for discussion points and online guided reading notes written by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), this series is ideal for reading both in the classroom and at home. For more information visit

Book Band: Brown Ideal for ages 7+



Daedalus and his son, Icarus, have been imprisoned on the island of Crete by King Minos. Desperate to escape, they come up with a daring plan, but impulsive Icarus, longing for freedom, fails to listen to his father, leading to tragedy.

In her retelling of this Greek myth, Jenny Oldfield managed to develop a really warm relationship between Daedalus and his son. The father's guilt at their plight is keenly felt and his son's recklessness and longing for freedom likewise, but there is a closeness between them, which makes Icarus's fate more keenly felt.

Some details of the story in Wings of Icarus differ from the original, making it a great starting point for comparing and contrasting versions of the myth and exploring the development of story telling. The story is illustrated throughout by Bee Willey whose black and white drawings capture many moments of the tale.

There are notes at the end of the book to encourage discussion and reflection. Pitched at the Brown Book Band level, Wings of Icarus offers an introduction to a classic story from Greek mythology, supporting reading development and the pleasure of a good story. It also offers much to explore as an early guided reading text.

48 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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