Monday, March 20, 2006

Fly, Little Bird by Tina Burke

Fly, Little Bird
by Tina Burke
Ages: 2-5
Topics: birds, nature, friends

In this almost wordless book, a little girl and her dog are out picking flowers when they find a brightly colored little bird hiding in a flower bush. "Fly, little bird" the girl says, but the little bird doesn't know how to fly. So she puts the bird into her flower basket and takes him home. She makes the bird a little bed of leaves in her room, gives him food and a bedtime story. The three friends engage in all sorts of fun activities - painting, camping, and pretending to be rockstars. And the bird grows and learns to fly.

One morning the little girl wakes up to find the bird gone. She charges outside with a butterfly net, dog bounding behind her. She looks all over for the bird until she hears his song: he's found birds like himself to fly and play with in the trees. The girl sees how happy he is. "Fly, little bird." she says.

This sweet story about friendship is told (almost) exclusively by the cheerful, bright, pencil and watercolor illustrations. The characters are round and bounding, and strongly communicate a sense of childhood excitement and wonder. Their expressions are exquisite and easy to read (the dog is especially wonderful). Burke uses the bird's color to firmly place him in nature with the green leaves and red flowers, foreshadowing the story's end. There's lots of white space in the book giving it a clean crisp feel. The illustrations' format is pleasantly varied to include full page scenes and close-ups, vingettes (which are mostly used to show the indoor scenes), and double-page spreads that show bounding movement.

A wonderful story to teach younger children about loving and letting go, and the difference between domestic and wild animals.

Tina Burke worked for Walt Disney Animation for six years. This is her first picture book.


Blogger Anne said...

How funny we reviewed the same book on the same day. Great minds, as they say ...

I love this book because my son can just sit and stare at the pictures and pretty much tell the story himself.

6:13 PM  

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