A POET’S BIRD GARDEN by Laura Nyman Montenegro


Age Range: 4 - 7
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When Chirpie, Natalie’s pet bird escapes and flies into a tree, five poets are called to entice the bird back to her cage. Each suggestion is punctuated with a birdlike sound: Priyanka coos, Vincent warbles, Lily twitters, Pendleton clucks. But the fifth proposes a garden made for birds, a poet’s bird garden: Seeds and water for drinking and bathing are set out, yet this does not lure Chirpie. Next they put a bush in which to hide, even bits of yarn and string for nest-building, but still no Chirpie. Finally, seated, waiting and quiet, the poets gather and once Claude the cat is shooed, birds flock and Chirpie returns, landing on top of Natalie’s head with a yarn worm in her beak. Montenegro’s inspiration is a painting she loved as a child, van Gogh’s Poet’s Garden, although rhythm and design hint of an Eastern European village and culture. Dense black curves in the tree trunks, branches and cage, echo in the grillwork and play against the watercolor wash of greens and golden two-dimensional forms. Beautiful to look at and to contemplate the serenity contained within. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-374-36038-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007