In the decidedly urban setting that Little Bird calls his own, he wakes up with a song—he always starts his day with a song—and looks for a puddle for a bath after the unpleasantness of the nighttime rain.
He finds the perfect puddle in a city park, but wait! A ball bounces in his puddle, but he eludes it. He goes back to his bath—and has a narrow escape again, when a little girl’s flip-flops make him skitter away. (The bliss on her face as she splashes in the puddle is worth noting.) When a dog (with collar and leash, as is proper) finds the puddle also, Little Bird decides it is time to find another place for his bath. And he does, too, has a blissful splash and wiggle in it, then settles down to sleep with a song—he always ends his day with a song. The cheery gouache and colored-pencil illustrations effortlessly convey a city in summer, with a multiethnic population, small stores and large buildings, buses and taxis, parkland and kids. Without stretching a point too far, the interconnectedness of nature and city, the consequences of action and play, the sounds and sense of an urban environment make for a really nice story whose words and images repay repeated readings.
Simple and understated—and all the more enjoyable for it. (Picture book. 4-7)