cover image The Lost Little Bird

The Lost Little Bird

David McPhail. Holt/Godwin, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-22291-6

The confused bird who stars in this latest creation by McPhail (I Hug) is a stumpy, personable fellow with a glittering eye who, having hit his head, can’t remember what kind of bird he is. In a wildland setting that’s home to many different species, he approaches all the birds he can find, parroting their actions to see whether he’s of their type. He’s not a nightingale, he discovers—his singing is more annoying than tuneful. He’s taken aback when a worm pops up out of the ground (“Yikes!”), so he’s not a robin. Gently tinted ink and watercolor spreads give readers reason to linger, and humorous remarks appear in handsome umber ink via speech balloons: “Maybe tomorrow,” says a kindly hen, as the bird protagonist looks into the empty nest he’s failed to fill with eggs. The bird accepts each failure cheerfully and doesn’t become discouraged until the very end, when warm reassurance appears. A good place to start conversations about observing differences in nature. Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]