A little yellow bird helps a menace mend his destructive ways.
In a cave at the top of a mountain in the middle of a forest lives a giant, depicted as a hulking, bald, white man in jeans and a pinstriped shirt. He spends all day pulling up trees, hurling logs, and smashing mountains. (Basically, what giants do.) After years of this, all the animals and birds have been scared away, and the once-large forest has become quite small. Without the song of the birds or wood to make a fire in his cave, the giant becomes very lonely. One day a little yellow bird appears, singing a beautiful song. The giant catches her and puts her in a cage, thinking this way he’ll be able to hear her singing all day long, easing his loneliness. But caged, the bird grows too sad to sing. The giant sets her free. Hoping to lure her back to the forest, the giant sets to work rebuilding it: he sows seeds, plants trees, and mends the mountains. In time, the forest blossoms with life again. The little yellow bird returns, and the giant is happy at last. Charmingly illustrated in acrylic, watercolor, and colored pencil, Ambrose’s ecological fable speaks to the value of friendship as well. Adult readers won’t have much trouble seeing the parable, and child readers, though they may not grasp the nuances, will get the message as well.
Sweet and effective. (Picture book. 3-6)