Bored or grumpy animals from Down Under get a lift from the Cheer-up Bird in this Dutch import. Now, who will cheer up the weary bird?
Three koalas so comically afflicted with ennui that they “were wondering / why they have to climb / and eat / and breathe” hang listlessly from tree branches. Enter the Cheer-up Bird, exuberant of plumage and hue, to trace hearts in the air and put the suddenly bright-eyed furry gents on to a trio of coy koala ladies. Likewise, the bird’s simple appearance is enough to bring three grumpy wombat sibs together for a shared project, lift the spirits of a depressed kangaroo monarch as two kangaroo musicians toot didgeridoos, and gather all the animals together to jolly a pair of elderly emus out of the blahs. The Schuberts make deft use of palette, presenting the cranky animals against muted brown, gray, or lavender backgrounds, then brightening them to sunny yellows, oranges, and blues. Then the droopy bird flaps back to her nest, flying from bright yellow into gloomy grays as the onlooking animals worry that she may not be able to work tomorrow. Fear not: back at her nest, her spirits are recharged by her own flock of little “cheery Cheer-up Bird Birdies!”
A chirpy pick-me-up tailor-made for sharing with one or many glum young listeners. (Picture book. 4-7)