An effervescent adaptation of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” with a skinny plotline supplied by the art and new themes and verses added by the songwriter’s eldest daughter.
Sporting stubby dreadlocks and a broad smile in Brantley-Newton’s sunny scenes, a child with Marley’s iconic image on his shirt waltzes out to the playground. There, three songbirds (supervised by an alert cat) “perch on the swing set, / Whistling these words, / These harmonies sweet in the air. / Sometimes you just need to show you care…” as he kicks a soccer ball about with both old friends and a newly made one. Later, he makes a gooey mess in the kitchen, earns quick parental forgiveness (“Everyone can make a mistake they say”) and is sung to sleep by birds and parents alike. Being given just once each time rather than repeated as in the song, the chorus looks and (read or sung aloud) sounds choppy, but the new lyrics slip easily into the cadences of the old, and by the end, even the cat is dancing.
A sweet elaboration of the original’s reassuring message that “every little thing is gonna be all right.” (afterword) (Picture book. 4-8)