SHIRLEYBIRD by Fran Manushkin


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Carl Stuart's line drawings, with some solid brown and yellow filler, have a kind of unkempt flightiness that helps keep Shirleybird from crashing to the ground; the story is unabashedly bird-brained. It's about a little girl who wants very much to be special--perhaps she'll grow up to be a singer and dancer--but instead she becomes special by growing wings and feathers, flying into the air and turning into a bird. Reinforcement for the new Shirleybird comes slowly--her parents plead with her to come home and be a little girl again and the real birds mock her different behavior--but suddenly from out of the sky appears her male counterpart, a Herbertbird. After some mutual back-scratching the two fly South together, carrying her parents' best wishes and a thermos of hot soup from her mother. Better to take or leave this as a flyaway fancy, depending on your tolerance for same, than to try to psych out the implications.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1975
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harper & Row