Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Home For Bird by Philip C. Stead


What a playful book! A simple, sweet story about a toad named Vernon, and his quest to find a home for his silent but gentle friend, Bird, A Home for Bird is magnified by the vibrant background colors, and has a very child-like, scratchy quality to the illustrations. 

Philip Stead has a truly beautiful track record as children's illustrator, having won numerous awards for A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and having a wide variety of artwork in children's books including mixed media, watercolor, and careful drawing. 

The plot thickens as Vernon the toad goes around to his animal friends to inquire about his new pal, and then resolves to find Bird's home, taking his silent partner across a river "into the great unknown". Resourceful, Vernon shows Bird where he might be happiest, where he could  be home, but sadly, Bird stays silent and uninterested. At long last, Bird chirps up to reveal where his true home is.

This book is a fun find due to the pictures. The storyline is cute, but the exploding colors, scribbly crayon-like pages, will really appeal to children. Illustrators set moods with the colors they choose, and this story is packed full of bright hues, attractive to the eyes. 

A wonderful way to find new books to read to your children is to start by collecting and going through favorite authors and illustrators. Philip C. Stead is surely an artist to follow, and that's just how I found this title, A Home for Bird.

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