Wednesday, August 1, 2012
A Home for Bird
One of the pleasures of sitting in my library is the chance to watch the birds at our feeders. I have no appreciation for the mean grackles, or even for the bright bluejays, both of which are greedy and mean to the other birds. But I love to watch the cardinal couples and goldfinch pairs. I enjoy the acrobatic nuthatches' antics and the steadfast visits from chickadees and sparrows.
The bird in Philip C. Stead's new picture book is a quiet bird when a toad named Vernon discovers it. Vernon tries introducing Bird to friends, attempts to entertain Bird with cloud watching, and eventually, assuming Bird is lost and lonely, sets off in a tea cup to find Bird's home. After showing Bird numerous homes, Vernon is sad to discover none is the right place. Lost and tired, the two discover a house down the road, and they begin climbing some chains to a tiny house on the wall. When the hour chimes 6 o'clock, Bird is certainly in his perfect home, making Vernon smile.
Visual literacy is as important as the text in this charming picture book about faithful friends and intrepid investigators. Readers will want to go back to the copyright page to revisit an essential detail as they correctly predict the ending.