cover image Story of a Blue Bird

Story of a Blue Bird

Tomek Bogacki, Tomasz Bogacki. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37197-5

In Bogacki's (Cat and Mouse) visually voluptuous but narratively disjointed tale, a downy baby blue bird is curious about the world beyond his nest, yet fearful of flying. His mother unwittingly hits on an inspiration for his flight: one night, in an attempt to coax her inquiring offspring to sleep, she tells him that there's ""nothing"" beyond the trees. His interest piqued, he leaves the nest in search of ""nothing."" When he comes upon a flock of birds and tells them what he's looking for, they take to the air, inspiring the baby bird to forget his fear of flying and join them: ""And they flew high, and they flew low. They flew here, and they flew there."" Unfortunately, Bogacki never resolves for readers what ""nothing"" means--he hints that it may be the unseen air in which the birds soar, but no explicit connection is made; ultimately, this key word becomes something of a red herring. For some readers, it may be enough that the book is so sensually alluring, inviting readers to loll in its full-bleed spreads, replete with plush textures, serene blues and melon greens and chubby, wide-eyed birds who in flight resemble toy airplanes; for others, it may be difficult to overlook the lack of resolution in the text. Ages 3-5. (Apr.)