From Publishers Weekly
The Cartwrights have established an entertaining and distinctive style, featuring rounded landforms and sausage-like people rendered in vivid colors. Here, a lady named Polly tames her rambling privet bush ("it had grown so wild and unruly that it threatened to smother all the flowers") by clipping it into the shape of a bird. Distressed by "the sound of children crying," Polly mounts the topiary creature, and the pair wings away to aid the youngsters. Other good works follow, though--trading on a common theme--only the children take the time to see Polly flying through the sky; the adults are too rooted in their mundane existence to notice. When the grownups finally check out the proceedings, the privet is once again "a tangle of untidy leaves." Though the book's art and design are as clean as a whistle, they can't quite make up for the bland text. Once the bird soars off, its story unfortunately takes a dive into muddy waters. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-- A brisk, lively tale about a woman who talks to flowers. She trims an untidy privet bush into the shape of a bird and coaxes it to life. The pair rescue some children and later help the townspeople survive a flood. The grownups, of course, remain blind to the bird's magic, while the children declare, ``Well, if they won't look they won't see.'' Cartwright's sure, energetic voice makes the book an excellent, well-paced read-aloud. The full-color acrylic illustrations, rendered with just the right amount of wit, sunshine, and shadow, complement and extend the text. Book design, layout, and typography are all first-rate. The Briticisms add charm and authenticity to a magical story that will almost certainly broaden readers' horizons. --Eve Larkin, Chicago Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.