August 12, 2013

A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:52 am by suebe2

A Funny Little Bird
by Jennifer Yerkes
sourcebooks/jabberwocky

“Once upon a time, there was a little bird.  Most of the time it was as if he was invisible. . .”

With these opening lines, you might assume this was going to be a morose, mopey story at least until you look at the illustrations.  With abundance white space and intense colors, Yerkes artwork appears to almost pop off the page.  Of course, this illusion is aided by the textured artwork on the cover of the book.  (I have to admit that my fingers never quit tracing these raised areas, even when I was reading.)

Spare text and vibrant illustration pair together to tell the story of a little bird who is teased by the other birds on the rare moments that they notice him.  He decides that all of his problems would be solved if he could only make others notice him.  To that end he picks up all manner of feathers and leaves, becoming more and more visible all the while.  Eventually he discovers that high visibility isn’t always a good thing.

Although this is a solid story about self-esteem and being yourself, it is truly the illustrations that make it such a wonder.  Never before have I seen a character depicted for the most part by what you cannot see.  The most that you ever see of little bird himself is his beak, one eye and his legs.

Children will love the spare but bright illustrations and will likely be tempted to create their own.  They will also identify with a tiny creature who often feels overlooked and, when he isn’t, wishes he could go back to being comfortably anonymous vs. being put on the spot.

Share this innovative book with the young reader in your life.

–SueBE

 

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