cover image Early Bird

Early Bird

Toni Yuly. Feiwel & Friends, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-04327-6

Yuly debuts with an energetic story of an early-rising red bird, which also introduces a handful of directional prepositions. Outlined in black, Early Bird has the swoopy shape of a tilde, with a cluster of black teardrop wings and big, round eyes. After awakening, she stretches, “takes a deep breath of fresh morning air and then Early Bird gets going!” The bird’s rambles take her “across the grass/ through the flowerbed/ under the spiderweb/ up the path” and beyond. Yuly’s digital artwork is eye-catching and elementally simple. Full of bright colors and clean shapes, the illustrations initially look like they could have been dashed off in a few minutes, but strong layouts and surprising details are evident, from the eyelashes of the sun that barely peeks over the horizon to the surly look that a cat gives Early Bird as she flies overhead (no Early Cat, that one). This Early Bird does indeed get the worm, and what she does (and doesn’t) do with it creates some fun moments of suspense and humor in the final pages. Ages 1–3. Agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. (Jan.)