Thursday, December 17, 2020

I Am A BIRD BCCB review

 Lim, Hope I Am a Bird

illus. by Hyewon Yum. Candlewick, 2021 [32p] Trade ed. ISBN 9781536208917 $16.99 Reviewed from digital galleys  R 2-4 yrs


A little girl rides in the seat behind her father as they bicycle through town, and she sings like a bird as they go. She loves to wave at the people that they pass, but she’s disconcerted by a very focused woman who doesn’t respond. Day after day, the girl ruminates on the lady, despite her father’s cheerful reassurance (“She’s just a lady taking a walk”). Then one day they see her in the park, feeding and singing to the birds, and the little girl recognizes a kindred spirit; the two exchange bird calls, and the little girl is ready to fly again now that she’s made a friend. Lim’s simple, heartfelt narration deftly captures the perturbation kids can develop around an adult who seems unfriendly, and there’s enough amiable reassurance to counterbalance the sympathy. Yum’s softly textured colored pencil and gouache illustrations capture the airy freedom of a zippy bike ride through a lovely seaside Korean (judging by store lettering) town. She’s particularly good at small, telling details, like the way our protagonist grabs a handful of her daddy’s jacket or peers around to experience the town in an entirely different way than her pilot. Kids who’ve had their own encounters with hard-to-slot adults will appreciate the validation and the encouraging outcome.  DS


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