Teasing brings out a bird’s inner artist.
Bob is a black, crowlike bird with a red beak and very long, skinny legs. He becomes self-conscious about his legs when he goes out for a walk and is teased by onlookers. “Eeeek! Look at those skinny legs!” comments Cat. “Oooh! Look at that funny stick walk,” says Owl. “Oh! How puny your legs are!” remark a crowd of other birds, identical to Bob except with fatter legs. Bob goes to great lengths to increase the diameter of his legs. He works out at the gym, eats a pile of sausages at the restaurant, and attempts to find clothing to camouflage his legs. Inspiration comes at the art museum, where he sees many different textures and patterns in the paintings on the walls. In a Matisse-style eureka moment, Bob realizes that by painting his beak in a multitude of art-inspired designs, he can gain public admiration for his beautiful beak, and his legs will no longer be the focus of attention. Each day he paints his beak in the style of a different artist or just with abstract bright patterns. He garners admiring comments from his previous critics, and now no one notices his legs. British artist Deuchars' expressive hand-lettering and bold, splashy ink-and-watercolor art stand out against minimalist backgrounds; such quirky details as a cat created with thumbprints charm. Unfortunately, aside from Matisse and Pollock, the inspirational sources for Bob’s designs are not named.
Striking art adds levity to the book’s anti-bullying message. (Picture book. 3-6)