Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Author & Illustrator: Bob Staake
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Publication Year: 2013
Location: Knox County Public Library- Lawson McGhee
Awards: Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, & Booklist starred reviews, Junior Library Guild selection
Summary: A wordless picture book of a boy and a bird done in a somber palette of blues and greys which perfectly set up the mood of the story. There is environmental text which places the boy in an urban environment. The bird follows the boy on his walk to school and waits for him outside the building as he is teased by his classmates. We see the two become friends as the boy shows his first smile of the book. The bird even helps him make some friends sailing boats in the park, but then the colors get darker as the boy is accosted by bullies in the park. They steal the boy's boat and kill the bird with sticks. As the bullies run away, multi-colored birds come flying in and carry the boy and the bird away into the sky where the bird flies off into the clouds. On the endpapers the boy waves goodbye. What an interesting book for interpretation and discussion!
Classroom Ideas: Guidance counselors could use this book with younger children to talk about death and dying. The book has themes of friendship, bullying, and hope.