To say that this bird is wordy is an understatement; the motor mouth talks so much that she doesn’t listen, even when it’s in her best interests.
The talking starts first thing in the morning, with Wordy Birdy saying hello to each color in the sky at sunrise and to her own reflection in the mirror, but it doesn’t stop there. The loquacious bird talks about things she likes, things she dislikes, things she’s curious about, what she sees, facts she knows, and sometimes stories she embellishes a bit (“This one time, I totally went swimming with a narwhal”). Her friends are all disgruntled expressions and raised eyebrows, but they are loyal nonetheless (readers may not see why, though, as the self-centered bird is not at all likable). When her ceaseless yammering lands Wordy Birdy in danger, they come to her rescue…and even bring about a modest change in her behavior. Friends Squirrel, Rabbit, and Raccoon are the real stars here. Their droll expressions and unsurprised reactions to Wordy Birdy’s indifference to their warnings are laugh-out-loud funny, especially to adults who may be reading this aloud and recognize some familiar behavior. Mottram’s seemingly digital illustrations have an Over the Hedge aesthetic, and the dialogue balloons that crowd the spreads emphasize just how much talking Wordy Birdy does.
Preschool talkers aren’t likely to take the lesson to heart, but their caregivers will certainly find this chuckleworthy. (Picture book. 3-7)