TWO LITTLE BIRDS by Mary Newell DePalma


Age Range: 4 - 6
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This charming if superficial story follows two little birds from the moment they burst from their shells.

They feed, frolic and grow. One night, they look up to see a great flock of migrating birds, and anxious not to be left behind, they decide to join them. They encounter thunderstorms, power lines and other perils along the way, but after a grueling flight over the ocean, they land, exhausted, in a new country and find themselves in the warm sunlight, surrounded by tropical vegetation. All around them are other little birds, feasting on the strange plants and insects, flitting about and enjoying the company of the other migrants. Soon, however, their instincts tell them it is time to leave and make the perilous journey back home, where the process starts all over again, with mating, nest building and laying eggs. DePalma’s gentle illustrations make use of a skillful blend of acrylics and torn–tissue-paper collage, overlaid on canvas so the visibility of the painted fabric adds interest and variety to the illustrations. While attractively produced, the text is somewhat perfunctory and lacks informative detail. Questions curious children might wish to ask about the science of migration and birds’ life cycles remain unanswered, though an afterword discloses that DePalma bases her tale on orchard orioles and their annual migration to and from the Yucatán.

Visually distinctive, but a little disingenuous in its approach to the science that underlies it. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5421-6
Page count: 34pp
Publisher: Eerdmans
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2014


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