The Blue Songbird – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: the blue songbird

Author & Illustrator: Vern Kousky

Publisher: Running Press Kids, 2017

Ages: 4-7

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.

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9 Responses to The Blue Songbird – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Andrea Mack says:

    This sounds lovely — a perfect book for a quiet moment.

  2. The illustration on the cover caught my eye right away. After reading your wonderful review, I’m looking forward to reading this book.

  3. This seems like a very well-crafted book, with special attention to all the details. I’ll be looking for it. Thanks.

  4. Such a beautiful story and theme for children about individuality. You’re right, some kids don’t want to stand at, but all want to find their place. I like how this story is told through a songbird. The illustrations look beautiful!

  5. Patricia Nozell says:

    The blue songbird looks lovely, Joanna. When is it available? I love the message & can’t wait to see the watercolour illustrations.

  6. Gabi Snyder says:

    What a strikingly lovely cover. This sounds like a beautiful story about individuality. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sounds like a beautiful book. Added to my Goodreads list. Thanks for featuring it.

  8. Keila Dawson says:

    Oh my, this is such a clever premise. Can’t wait to read it.

  9. Erik - TKRB says:

    This sounds like a really good story! 🙂

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