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A Bird and His Worm Hardcover – September 30, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618094601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618094608
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,836,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this chirpy picture book, Kaczman incorporates the geometric shapes and pleasingly flat colors used in his debut, When a Line Bends... A Shape Begins, to craft an original if familiar-feeling fable about a bird of a different feather. The titular bird would rather walk than fly ("I don't really have anything against flying,... but I love walking around... and besides, I don't like to flap my wings") and prefers seeds to live foodstuffs. Kaczman shows him explaining himself to a quartet of winged fellows (they think, "He is very odd"). The bird then befriends a talkative worm. The chatty pair enjoy their daily walkabouts until winter begins its approach, and the duo hatch a plan to head south on the back of a sly fox. Luckily, the fox can't eat his prey as originally intended because he's come to know them as "charming, funny fellows," but their next lift, a snake, is not charmed by them. Luckily again, they discover a more modern mode of transportation. Kaczman's text clips along as the very social bird and worm make plentiful conversation. His boldly outlined ink-and-watercolor compositions in a crisp palette of mustard yellow, burnt orange and cornflower blue emit a sunny vibe that, together with his triangular shapes and half circles, suggests a kind of preschool fantasy land. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 2-In this fablelike story, a bird that only eats seeds and berries and does not fly befriends a worm. The two begin walking south for the winter and meet up with a fox. He gives them a ride on his back, with the intent of eating them, but changes his mind. When he leaves, he warns them against accepting rides from foxes, and they ask a snake to carry them. After he tries to eat them, they realize that it is not safe to ask strangers for rides, and the bird and worm walk to an airport and fly to their destination in an airplane. This book addresses an important safety issue. The bird and worm think that they are charming and clever, and that no one will hurt them, but their foolishness nearly costs them their lives. While the message is important, the text is slightly didactic and the ending seems a bit rushed. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations are stronger than the text, and Kaczman succeeds at creating interesting characters; the bird is formed out of basic shapes and the elongated fox and snake are threatening, conniving creatures. The colors are lush and vibrant, and objects are outlined in black; curving lines depict movement and energy throughout the mostly full-page spreads. While the illustrations will have appeal, this isn't a first purchase.
Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter W. Wood on November 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a cheerful book about eccentricity--a bird that prefers walking to flying--friendship (of the inter-species kind) and trust. Kaczman's drawings are droll but sweet. Young readers will be captured by the seeming innocence of the artwork; older readers will take pleasure in Kaczman's clever craftsmanship. (My favorite is a picture of the bird flattening himself out to fit on the page as he hitches a ride on the back of a snake.) In the end, unconventionality wins. Not a bad message in a charmingly unconventional picture book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By scout stevenson on October 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I immediately fell in love with this book. This is Kaczman's second book and unlike most sophomore releases, this one achieves a certain "escape velocity" that leaves most others in that genre, far behind. This book is the children's version of "Easy Rider". Two unlikely characters paired up and ready for adventure in search of something more. This book is fun for both adults as well as children. One of the great things about his books is that you can spot something new with each read. The story is great and the illustrations are lush and beautiful. This is a great addition to any children's library or your own coffee table!
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