WELCOME, BROWN BIRD

Mary Lyn Ray, Author, Peter Sylvada, Illustrator , illus. by Peter Sylvada. Harcourt $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-292863-6

Every fall, a wood thrush says goodbye to a boy in the northern hemisphere and flies thousands of miles south to greet a boy in the southern hemisphere. Both boys wait every year for the bird, and with childlike earnestness both convince their fathers not to clear trees in the woods where the bird sings. The boy in the distant country speaks Spanish, but he says the same things as his English-speaking counterpart in the North—his words ("La flauta,... está aquí ") are perfectly clear in context. Ray (Red Rubber Boot Day ) has conceived an expressive metaphor for the interconnectedness of living things, even those unknown to each other: "Neither boy knew where the brown bird went," the text ends. "Only the bird knew they were brothers." Sylvada (A Symphony of Whales ) paints a series of landscapes in which mood and light predominate. In pointing up the similarities between the boys, their fathers and their farms, the images leave out particulars of textures and facial features; and the same mustard, brown and sky-blue palette is used for both settings. Within the story, the ending is a happy one—one boy's happiness always follows the other's loss—but a sober afterword explains Ray's concern for the headlong destruction of songbird habitats. Its pared-down focus on a single issue makes the book an effective discussion-opener for younger listeners. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.