Wordy Birdy clearly didn’t learn to keep her mouth shut from her last misadventure (Wordy Birdy, 2017), but at least this time her talking is an asset instead of a liability.
Well, in the end it is. But at the start of a camping trip with her three loyal friends she is a bit tough to take. The logorrheic bird spews dialogue balloons that fill up the pages, listing rhyming words, delivering plot spoilers, and extolling her love for almost everything under the sun. Happily, Sauer once again breaks the fourth wall with these friends, having them respond snarkily to the narrator’s comments in direct address to readers: “Wordy Birdy is a little chatty,” explains the narrator. The squirrel responds, “A LITTLE chatty?” while the raccoon demands, “Seriously?!” Their droll expressions steal the scenes, especially when juxtaposed against Wordy Birdy’s rather empty-headed look. It’s the narrator who alerts the foursome to the hungry cougar’s presence, though observant readers will have noticed clues. While her three friends panic, Wordy Birdy does what comes naturally: “Just so you know, Mr. Cougarpants, rabbits taste terrible…[and] I’m too adorable to eat….” Those ellipses represent a lot of words. In fact, it’s so much, the cougar runs off. “All I wanted was a nice, quiet dinner.”
Loquacious little ones may well not see themselves, but everyone can share a laugh. (Picture book. 3-7)