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BLUEBIRD by Bob Staake Kirkus Star

BLUEBIRD

By Bob Staake (Author) , Bob Staake (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 18

Pub Date: April 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-87037-8
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

One little boy, one little bird and one big city come together in a wordless fable of friendship, school, loss and comfort.

Readers see the bluebird first, following the boy as he walks to school. Like a guardian angel, the bird watches the boy, even while his classmates mock him. Soon, the bird and boy become friends, returning home from school together, playing hide-and-seek, stopping at a bodega and sailing a boat in a pond. A run-in with a group of thugs leads to the bird’s demise. Blues and grays are the colors of this urban world, allowing Staake’s design to tell the story. Horizontal and vertical panels are interspersed with full-page spreads, encouraging the reader to slow down and experience the story. Though the volume is wordless, there is some environmental text on the signs of the city, which points to how the boy might feel about his life. Each sign is nearly generic: Gotham Café, Circus, The Steadfast Independent Books. Color changes, from blue to near black to white to blue again, allow readers to feel every emotion, including the devastating climax and the begs-to-be-discussed ending, which is punctuated by eight birds of many colors escorting the boy and the bluebird into the clouds.

Like nothing you have seen before. (Picture book. 6 & up)