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.