UGLY BIRD by Russell Hoban
Kirkus Star


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Any youngster who's ever nurtured a secret invulnerable self will take wing with Ugly Bird. Reassured by Mama that his detractors "don't know who you are and what you are," he proceeds on his first flight to find out. . . When the other birds taunt him, he puts on his stone suit and becomes a sling shot projectile hitting them; when he falls, he is Handsome Stone for Frog's game of leapstone and skipfrog; when he sinks to the bottom of the pond, he sheds his stone suit and becomes Shiny Fish swallowing a worm who asks him the time ("Lunchtime"); when he is hooked with the worm, he strips to his understone and becomes Little Pebble dropping on a sleeping snapping turtle ("Good aftersnap"). . . and so on through twists of fate and turns of phrase until, reversing the process, he returns home to dinner and bed. "I know who I am and what I am. Some of who is handsome and some is shiny and some is little and some is buzzing." "Did you say some of who is handsome?" says his mama. "I knew it all along." Probably the best redress since Max put on his wolf suit. . .
Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1969
Publisher: Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1969


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