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DOCTOR BIRD by Gerald Hausman

DOCTOR BIRD

Three Lookin' Up Tales from Jamaica

By Gerald Hausman (Adaptor) , Ashley Wolff (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: May 18th, 1998
ISBN: 0-399-22744-X
Publisher: Philomel

Doctor Bird, hummingbird trickster and national bird of Jamaica, stars in a trio of parables adapted by Hausman. In the first tale, Doctor Bird tries to teach Mongoose that she shouldn’t steal. He unleashes a series of warnings from his magical bag until Mongoose gets the hint, but she goes back to her thieving ways as soon as Doctor Bird departs. In the second, Doctor Bird encourages Mouse to shuck his instincts to see the possibilities, to look up instead of down, and Mouse stumbles upon a variety of unexpected ways to survive. Lastly, Doctor Bird advises Owl to be an owl, and not what he is not. When Owl, disenchanted with his lot, goes after bright lights and teeming fellowship, it backfires and he comes to appreciate his nocturnal life. The tellings are surprisingly wooden, without the lilt associated with island tales, and fairly open-ended for the target audience. Wolff’s illustrations are flashy and funny, hinting at the Jamaican setting without fully invoking it. (Picture book. 5-9)