Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Little Bird

Title: Little Bird 
Author: Germano Zullo 
Illustrator: Albertine 
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books 
Publication Date: March, 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: A man drives his truck up to a cliff's edge. Unable to go any further, he opens the back door of his truck and a flock of birds flies out, but, as the man soon discovers, a small timid bird remains. Surprised and delighted, the man acts kindly towards the bird and an intimacy develops. After lunch, the man tries to show the bird that he should fly off and join his friends. The man's comic attempt at flight deepens the encounter between these two very different creatures. Soon the bird flies off and the man drives away, but in a surprise twist the bird and his friends return, and in a starkly lyrical moment we see them all experience something entirely new. 
What I Think: This book is almost a wordless picture book but not officially. Quite a lot of this story is told through the illustrations. They aren't intricate illustrations but they are bold and they make the reader stop and take in everything. It's almost as if the absence of too much going on caused me to stop and make sure I wasn't missing anything. It was fantastic to read with such intent and to look so closely at what the author and illustrator meant by the words and the pictures. I have to say I'm completely in love with the man in this book and his fat round belly but scrawny legs. He reminds me so much of the evil not-so-bad guy from the movie Despicable Me. He also reminds me of Uncle Fester The Adams Family. Both of them are funky but lovable and I think that's probably an accurate description of the man in Little Bird.
     I have so many questions about this book but the overall sense of wonder and whimsy made me forget about them...and that's rare. I usually get caught up on things that don't quite make sense to me but this book is just so fanciful I was able to get over those questions. Honestly, the intent and seriousness of the main character just makes me believe him and want to take off with him. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who messes around and if he's a believer then I'm a believer.
     I really enjoyed how much this book made me slow down and remember that our mindset and our belief in people and things can make all the difference sometimes. I would love to hear how kids interpret this book. Making a comparison between the main character in Little Bird and Mr. Crabtree from Extra Yarn would be really interesting!
Read Together: Grades 1 - 12  
Read Alone: Grades 4 - 12 
Read With: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser 
Snatch of Text: 
"...little things are not made to be noticed. 

They are there to be discovered." 
Reading Strategies to Practice: Making Inferences, Inferring Character Traits, Asking Questions, Making Connections
Writing Strategies to Practice: Observation, Narrative 
Writing Prompts: Find a place to sit and observe things around you. Take writer's notebook and record the little things you discover. During the rest of your day, continue to be on the lookout for little things you can discover that you may have overlooked before. Are any of these little discoveries possible seed ideas?
Topics Covered: Life, Observation, Reflection
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