Illustrator: Laura Dronzek
Birds can be yellow or blue or brown or "so black that you can't see their eyes or their feathers, just their shapes." A young girl shares what she knows about birds and what she has observed and imagined about them. She wonders how the sky would look if birds left a trail of color as they flew and what birds do if they can't reach their nests in a storm. She even pretends that she is a bird. Full-color acrylic paintings. A 2010 Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book. A 2010 ALA Notable Children's Book. A 2009 Booklist Top of the List Editors' Choice.
JLG Release: Mar 2009
Awards & Honors
2010 Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book; 2010 ALA Notable Children’s Books, Younger Readers; Booklist The Best of Editors’ Choice 2009; 2009 Horn Book Fanfare List
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*
Junior Library Guild
Full of concrete detail, the book also has a lyric quality in its attitude toward nature. The young narrator recalls, “Once I saw seven birds on the telephone wire,” and several accompanying illustrations show nearly identical rust-breasted birds lined up in an easy-to-count row. After she looks away “for just a second,” the flock takes flight and a page turn reveals the empty wire, the white background underscoring the surprising drama of this small but breathtaking moment.
The commonplace transforms into the magical as the narrator shares fanciful ideas: seagull-shaped clouds wing across a setting sun in one painting, while another depicts a wintertime tree, its branches bare but for a single cardinal that “. . . looks like one red leaf left over.” Conveyed through eloquent words and art, these reactions to the natural world authentically capture a child’s point of view and illustrate the beauty found in the ordinary.
10" x 10"
Level 2.1; Points: 0.5;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 1.4; Points: 1;