Title: the blue songbird
Author & Illustrator: Vern Kousky
Publisher: Running Press Kids, 2017
Themes: individuality, songbird, special song, self discovery
I received this book from the publisher for an honest opinion.
Once, there lived a blue songbird
A little blue songbird longs to sing like her sisters. But whenever she tries, she cannot get the tune right. Her mother encourages her to leave home and find a song that only she can sing.
With courage and tenacity, she travels the world, seeking advice from a crane, an owl, and a mean-looking crow, and other birds, hoping they will lead her to her special song.
Why I like this book:
This is not an unusual or quirky story, but the message told in lyrical prose is one small children will be used to grappling with, and the pacing and mood make it a great read aloud. While many children do not want to stand out, I think most, especially among their siblings, want to find their special place. Finding this takes courage and a journey, like the blue songbird’s.
While the story is sweet and empowering, I think the real strength of this picture book lies in the beautiful watercolor illustrations. The page layout and text formatting and placement is varied, following the songbird’s journey and especially reflecting the mature birds she encounters. The color palette sings, from grey scenes with the scary bird to warm yellows of her departure and homecoming.
Music activity – what sort of songs/melodies do you think each bird in the book would make?
Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.