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Bluebird Library Binding – April 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Library Binding: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037597038X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375970382
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,417,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-5-Staake's ability to digitally compose and contrast shapes for a pleasing geometric balance, aesthetic effect, and narrative purpose has never been stronger than in this wordless title about a heroic bird. Readers follow its flight past a New York City skyline filled with cones, pyramids, and rectangular prisms. Vertical lines are punctuated with stylized circular trees, heads, iris shots, clocks, etc. The sky and bird are indeed blue, but the lonely boy with the large, round head is dark gray; shades of gray comprise much of his world. White and black, used symbolically, complete the palette. The warbler notices the boy with the downcast eyes being mocked as he enters school. Afterward, the two play hide-and-seek, share a cookie, sail a toy boat together-in short, they become friends. Tuned-in readers will note the dedication to Audubon, examples of his art, the clock brand "Icarus," and other subtle thematic supports. Conflict arises when they enter Central Park, which is ominously dark, and bullies attempt to steal the boat. When one of them hurls a stick, the bird blocks it and falls, lifeless. As the child cradles his friend, the background brightens and a brilliantly colored flock lifts the pair into the clouds, where the creature fades from view as the boy waves good-bye. With echoes of Disney-Pixar's Up and William Joyce's The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (S & S, 2012), this is an apt fable for our time as we seek to help children develop empathy, curb aggression, and sense hope.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* With only a few hues of blue, a rainbow of steely grays, and a set of geometric shapes, Staake’s wordless picture book explores friendship, wildlife, sacrifice, death, and hope. A young boy’s drab world of loneliness gets a splash of color when he meets a perky bluebird. They share a cookie, get ignored by a pickup soccer game, and play in a pond before wandering into an ominous woods. There a squad of bullies turns the day into a tragedy, with the bird lying lifeless on the ground. An uplifting bit of magic closes the story, and the boy is comforted as the bird is reunited with the clouds and sky. In a mix of full-page artwork and small scenes arranged in sequential panels, Staake works out an impressive range of emotion, from the serene whimsy of cloud gazing to the cruel pointlessness of death, in his distinctive circle-and-square-based artwork. Without use of a single word (outside of a few pieces of signage to place the story in a New York–style city), this book raises all kinds of simple profundities for kids to question, ponder, imagine, and discuss. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

I did cry when I reached the end of the book.
Psyche
This book is spectacularly beautiful in its simplistic and haunting illustrated story of a lonely boy making friends with a bluebird.
peter sherman
My 5 year old daughter and I *loved* this book.
SoNotCal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura L. Harrison on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Bob Staake and couldn't wait to buy this book. It is a stunning picturebook but (spoiler alert) for the little bird to die in the end (my opinion but the bird doesn't get better) is not my kind of picturebook. I don't know any little one who would want to view this book twice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jennup on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I shared this book with my fourth graders on the first day of school. It was a great way to discuss bullying and the effects it has on others! At one part of the book the class gasped, and I knew they were hooked! This book hasn't been on my shelf since! Students love looking at it over and over again!
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn H. on May 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Has no one seen The Red Balloon (1956 French book/movie)? This book, although beautifully done, is nothing but a copy of The Red Balloon. It is hard to believe that this work can be deemed anything but a reproduction once you see the little boy being carried off by the balloons of Paris (after his beloved Red Balloon is burst by bullies). Both wordless books, both with a "friend" killed by bullies, both seen in the end carried away over the city. Check out the original and you will see for yourself that this is nothing but a story retold outside of Paris.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steph Sinclair on July 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There are so many lessons to be learned in the pages of Bluebird from bullying, loneliness, dealing with loss and letting go. I'm so very impressed with how Staake manages to weave all of these points together in only 40 pages with pictures alone.

Bluebird follows the story of a young boy who is friendless and the victim of bullying at school. He's excluded from group recess activities and teased in class. Meanwhile, a small bluebird watches the boy and proceeds to follow him after school releases. A friendship between the two is forged and it's put to the test during a tension-filled ending.

Bluebird really surprised me with the fact that I didn't think it would be so deep. I expected a usual picture book along with text to read out loud to my daughter. Instead, Bluebird is told entirely through beautiful illustrations shaded in black, white and blues. Each page is also broken into smaller panels to depict the next part of the narration and the passage of time. I was immediately taken with style because it reminds me of children's graphic novel, but much more simplified. However, my 5-year-old had difficultly understanding what was taking place in the book because it's not a style she is used to. In fact, the first thing she said when we started reading was, "Where are the words? I need the words!" So it's a bit of a learning curve for younger readers, but what the narration lacks in simplicity makes up for with the fascinating illustrations.

The ending to Bluebird also surprised me and I'll admit to not realizing the severity of what transpired until after I went back and re-read the blurb. It seems like the ending is set up in two ways.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By peter sherman on April 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is spectacularly beautiful in its simplistic and haunting illustrated story of a lonely boy making friends with a bluebird. The muted tones and simple geometrics collectively create many moods all of which are profound. Its a hard story at the end but in illustration, re-interpretations of the narrative can be made for younger more sensitive readers. That said, it is nearly a carbon copy of the equally wonderful original french 30-minute, academy-award winning film called "The red balloon" from 1956. I am surprised that neither the author nor publisher saw it fit to reference that original work as the parallel narratives are nearly identical. Replace blue bird with red balloon and NY for France... and the rest is nearly identical. ALL that said, the original story is so wonderful that there is certainly room in our world for multiple renditions of it. Publisher/Author: your next edition should acknowledge the source.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SoNotCal on August 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old daughter and I *loved* this book. We picked it out due to our love of birds but got more than we bargained for...in a good way. She went to get ME a tissue within seconds of realizing what had happened in the story. It has no words but it was profound. Afterwards we had a conversation about the art and meanings, and we have looked at it again and again. As far as the reviewers slamming it for being a remake...thanks for pointing it out, we will look for The Red Balloon to read now too since NO, we didn't know about that one. Books and music are remade in wonderful ways all the time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Thomas on June 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a child I was bullied and never really cared for how it was look at by society. They tell you to toughen up, be a man, etc etc. But it is different when you are the one that happens too, instead of the one giving advice. This book is amazing, tearful, and related very well to those that have been there.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kendra Holliday on May 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter is an empath, so when I showed her this book, she went ahead and pre-cried before we even opened it up! So touching, thoughtful, meaningful, timely. The ending was predictable - but not! I cried, too.
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