Once, a Bird

Orca. Sept. 2023. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459831438.
PreS-Gr 3–The shadows are long on the snow, and the ice is going out of the lakes and rivers. Winter is giving up, and there are small green buds starting to unfurl on skinny, thawing branches where a small robin lands, just outside an apartment building. In this wordless book, there are already metaphors upon metaphors, for the world is not only leaving winter behind, but also a pandemic, and the people behind the apartment building’s windows are looking out at the bird, and then, surprising themselves, at one another. Dion boldly moves back and forth between the perspective of the red-breasted robin, taking in dried yellow grass for nesting, and the perspective of children leaning out the windows, one white, one Black, gossiping excitedly. A dog gets walked. Old people hold hands. Three new birds are born and must be fed; they will need their strength to fly off to build their own nests. Hope builds, page by page, and all because the robin landed just then, on that branch. This is a very wise book, speaking volumes in Singh’s stage directions and Dion’s springtime colors.
VERDICT Share this at story hours, or hand it to the child struggling to read; this communicates essential truths without use a word. Marvelous.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing