cover image I Heard Said the Bird

I Heard Said the Bird

Polly Berrien Berends. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1223-2

Thanks to what the bird heard, the barnyard is all a-flutter with the rumor of a ``new one."" But the bird has only half the story: she doesn't know exactly what or who the ``new one'' is. Even after polling one another the farm menagerie has no clue. Just as the cow, mare, duck, hare, pig and mouse begin to doubt the bird, a boy comes from the house to settle the matter. Then, ""very quietly, they all tiptoed to the window and looked inside. `It's a new baby,' the little boy whispered."" Only the most hardened neigh-sayers will fail to delight in Berends's rhyming dialogue: no animal sounds here, just bouncy, anthropomorphic discourse: ""`How?' said the cow. `When?' said the hen. `Where?' said the mare.'' Sneed's (When the Fly Flew In; Turkey in the Straw) luminous watercolors feature animals caught in gleeful gestures from arresting perspectives. An entertaining take on ""a little birdie told me,"" this upbeat book is perfect for children anticipating the birth of a ``new one'' in their own homes. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)