Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BIRD HOUSE by Blanca Gómez Kirkus Star


by Blanca Gómez ; illustrated by Blanca Gómez

Pub Date: April 20th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-4197-4408-2
Publisher: Abrams

A little yellow bird is grounded in the snow with a broken leg when a child and their abuela rescue it.

Cupping it gently in her hands, Abuela takes the bird home and sets its leg while her grandchild eagerly looks on. Settling the bird in a domed cage, they both care for it until, soon, the bird is flying around the house—to the child’s delight and the cat’s frustration. The day comes to release the healed bird, and the child waves it on its way as it flies over the city. But one spring day a familiar sight greets them—their winged friend has returned. Although the child yearns to keep it, Abuela soothingly reminds her grandchild that the bird belongs to itself and has the right to fly free. But Abuela constructs a sturdy birdhouse from a blueprint and mounts it beside the balcony door—an implicit invitation for future visits. Spanish author/illustrator Gómez’s semiautobiographical tribute to her own abuela is a charming window into an idyllic childhood infused with love for all living things. The simple, flowing first-person narrative flits from page to page in a gentle lilting commentary on harmony and respect. Gómez’s carefully constructed images, from the well-tended profusion of plants to the child-sized chair and mouse toy, are whimsically detailed and subtly compelling. Both child and Abuela have light-brown skin. A Spanish-language edition, Un pájaro en casa, publishes simultaneously. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

This little gem elicits a sense of deep-seated comfort and refuge for these uncertain times.

(Picture book. 4-7)