THIS IS THE BIRD by George Shannon

THIS IS THE BIRD

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

 As a handmade wooden bird is passed down through several generations, each female relative endows it with a memory that adds to the family history. The bird was carved by a great-great-great-great-great-grandmother while waiting for her baby to be born. Her daughter hid the bird in her butter churn during a robbery. Her deaf granddaughter hid the bird in her skirt hem when she went away to school to learn sign language. As each generation's tale is added, Shannon (Tomorrow's Alphabet, 1996, etc.) achieves a cumulative effect--``The bird her mother sewed in her hem. The bird her mother hid from the thieves''-- that gives the story the rhythm of oral tradition. The person narrating is a young girl who is girding herself to once again attempt a high dive, after falling. In the end, she concludes, ``This is the bird I'll always keep till the right time comes to pass it along. The bird I got to celebrate my high dive,'' adding her tale to the legend. Soman's sensitive illustrations reflect the intimacy created by the memory of ancestral struggles and accomplishments; this is a moving tribute to familial bonds. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-395-72037-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1997




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