THE BIRDS OF THE HARBOR by John Italia

THE BIRDS OF THE HARBOR

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Caravela’s richly hued pastels depict, generally up-close, a moon-faced, introspective-looking lad communing with gulls for this folkish original tale of ineffable desire. Brushing off his mother’s warnings, a boy sits by the shore longing to understand the cries of the birds, and eventually nods off. When he wakes, a gull has built a nest on his head, and left an egg that will grant any wish if thrown into the sea after three days. It’s a difficult three days, but when the boy at last casts the egg away, a big fish rises to ask his wish. Here the story takes an even odder turn, for the boy wishes “for the wisdom of the birds, who could sing so sweetly and cry so loudly, though they too were unable to speak the things most dear to them.” Thereafter, the boy’s singing charms not only everyone in his village, but the birds too. Did the boy actually get his wish? It’s hard to tell. Young readers might prefer that he had made a better, or at least less ambiguous, one. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-9726614-7-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Shenanigan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2006