By Philip C. Stead
Published by Roaring Book Press, 2012
Talk about falling in love! This tender, adorable book sucked me in with the plot, and I stayed for the exquisite art, rendered in (I think) watercolor pencils. Vernon, a frog, befriends a wayward wooden cuckoo bird that (no surprise) doesn’t speak. He and his friends think that perhaps the bird doesn’t talk because he is homesick. Vernon sets off with the bird on a mission to find its home. Happy happenstance brings them both to the cuckoo clock from which the bird had fallen, and at last, the bird speaks. Vernon has saved the day.
Great book for looking at perspective and perception. Vernon thinks that Bird is alive, while the reader knows that he is not (dramatic irony). Because Vernon is trying so hard and sacrificing so much for this lifeless wooden bird, it is so gratifying that the bird finally “speaks” at the end of the book and makes Vernon happy. This is also a book about selflessness and friendship, and tugs at the heartstrings.
Awards: Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2012
Accessed: Augusta County Library