My 10-year old nephew and I read books together every week and he draws a picture from the pages that captures his fancy. As a budding bookworm, artist and a child with an autistic aphasia we bond through stories and art.
by Kyo Maclear
Illustrations by Kenard Pak
Published May 16, 2017
by Tundra Books (NY)
Icyland is a special place that people like to visit and the home of Warble, a small yellow bird who loves to human watch. When a deep fog rolls in and lingers the other birds don’t seem to mind but Warble becomes concerned. It’s not until a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) also notices the fog that Warble decides to do something about the spreading menace.
What a gem of a book this turned out to be! I was drawn to the watercolor and ink sketch illustrations right off, and they are beautiful. They carry through the entire book blowing you away. You literally feel like you’ve been to Icyland and experienced the fog with Warble and the Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile). I loved the fact that this little girl was drawn as an Asian girl! We don’t see that in picture books much… and its so important that we see that more.
“Happy to see a human again, Warble offered insects to eat.
She liked them.”
I enjoyed how this turned out to be such a big story. First Warble makes a human friend and then together they make change. They don’t know how to do it at first and they have to keep trying but slowly they get results. Such a huge lesson for children to learn. It’s so hard to stand alone but if you seek out others who feel the same way as you do then change is possible. There is also a great segue into talking about the environment and seeing others despite their being different from you.
Most surprising was how much my nephew loved this book. Right away it appealed to me visually and later as a message story, but would my little nephew enjoy the watercolor and ink sketches and the foggy subject? Yes! He totally loved the paper boats and the relationship between the bird and the girl. He always picks a spread and draws his own version of it. I felt certain he would pick the insects part because he thought that was so funny but no he chose the big message spread! I was really taken aback but I shouldn’t have been. At the heart of the story is two friends who wanted to fix a problem that the two of them alone couldn’t fix. There’s power in friendship!
I totally can see you buying this for a small child and the story growing with them as they age and understand the world on a deeper level. The messages are powerful and merit purchasing the book so they can be repeated often in the home.
BOTTOM LINE: Not just for bird lovers, but also for cause movers and shakers!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.” Netgalley is a special section of my book discussions where I post reviews of the digital books I read through this service. It’s quite amazing the gems you can find. I’ve yet to regret reading a book, even if I don’t like it…