I Am a Bird

Candlewick. Feb. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536208917.
PreS-Gr 1–A little girl flies like a bird as she rides in the bicycle seat behind her dad each morning on the way to school. Arms raised and mouth open, she gleefully sings to the birds who follow and waves to friends and neighbors. When she spots an unfamiliar woman in a blue coat, who neither waves or smiles, the little girl is puzzled. On every day she sees the woman, the girl has a mood shift, until the day she unexpectedly sees the woman in the park, singing to and feeding the birds. She views the woman in a new light, and her smile and wave are finally reciprocated. Colored pencil drawings show the details of the seaside town with its various birds in flight or perched along the bicycle’s route; all the characters have pale skin, and all have dark hair, but for the older woman, who has gray locks. The girl’s dislike and fear of the woman is mirrored in the monster graffiti on a wall. An effective spread depicts a bird’s-eye view of the pair and their shared love of birds and what will likely be a new friendship.
VERDICT A young girl learns that appearances are deceiving in this cheerful secondary purchase.

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