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Baby Wren and the Great Gift Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-This gentle read-aloud proves that everyone has a special gift to share as a baby wren leaves her nest to explore the world. Venturing out into the beautiful canyon, a kingfisher invites the wren to go fishing, ring-tailed cats ask her to join them in cartwheels, sunfish call to splash in the river, and eagles ask her to soar high above the storm clouds. But the baby wren cannot dive, do cartwheels, swim, or soar, compelling her to predictably ask why she cannot do these things. Lloyd-Jones's lyrical text follows a comfortable pattern of wren's unanswered question to each of her new friends ("Why aren't I a sunfish...so I could swim and splash, too?) always followed by the refrain "But no one answered./Monarchs played in the milkweed./A breeze rustled in the switch grass./And the glittering river ran on." Corace's fine-lined and brightly colored drawings show the scenic details of the wren's surroundings and the spectacular sunset as she discovers the magnificent call deep in her chest. Finding her special gift, the wren fills the canyon with a birdsong of thanks for all to hear. VERDICT Lovely and lyrical, this is a comforting story to be shared at storytime, bedtime, or anytime children are looking for reassurance of their special gifts.-Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The natural glories of a canyon are on full display as a newborn wren tries to understand her place in the world. No parents are around, so the wren takes in her surroundings: Lloyd-Jones (The House That’s Your Home) repeatedly references “monarchs in the milkweed,” rustling switch grass, and a “glittering river” below. Several animals are nearby, and the wren wishes it could dive like a kingfisher, cartwheel like ring-tailed cats, or brave a storm like two eagles. In the end, the wren’s ability to bear witness to the beauty around her (“what she saw couldn’t fit inside her/ it bumped into her heart/ it dazzled in her eyes/ it pushed on her throat”) and to convert that appreciation into a praise-song of gratitude reveals that she is exactly who she ought to be. Lovely, precise detail characterizes Corace’s (Telephone) watercolor-and-pencil portraits of the animals and their habitat; her pale pink skies, craggy golden canyon walls, and wispy grasses make it easy to understand why the wren is moved to sing. Ages 4–8. (Publishers Weekly)
A little bird explores her environment, meeting other creatures with special talents before discovering her own. The baby wren is first seen alone in her nest, but she soon hops out and meets other birds, animals, and fish. To the tiny bird, the soaring kingfisher and eagles, splashing sunfish, and cartwheeling ring-tailed cats are amazing and accomplished, doing spectacular things that astonish a naïve little bird. In classic find-your-own-talent fashion, the baby wren is then so inspired by a glowing, pink sunrise that she is moved to sing her own song, which can be heard all over the canyon. The lyrical text uses rich, poetic imagery along with judicious repetition to create a memorable setting for the little bird's exploratory journey. A large format and double-page-spread illustrations in jewel tones make the canyon setting appealing, though the bird is sometimes dwarfed by the expansive vistas. When the baby wren finds her own voice, she offers a big, open-ended thank you for everything in her world. There is no overt religious content in the text, though there is a short quotation on the front cover flap referring to prayer and a brief quote on the back cover flap from Martin Luther about the power of song. An attractive visual presentation complements an engaging text for a fresh interpretation of an old theme. (Picture book. 4-8) (Kirkus)
This adorable book opens with Baby Wren peeking out from her tiny nest in a rock face crevice and spying the wonders in the canyon that surrounds her: flittering butterflies, diving kingfishers, ring-tailed cats, and eagles sailing through the sky high above her. These miraculous things make her wish she had something of value that she could do. Then she sees the sun casting a pink glow upon the walls of the canyon in which she lives, and her heart becomes overwhelmed by the beauty around her. She bursts into song -- her special great gift -- one she unknowingly shares with the creatures around her. Baby Wren and the Great Gift is a delightful book with a special meaning for all of us: no matter how big or small, each of us has a special God-given gift we can share with others. As a mother and grandmother, I believe that message is especially important, for all children must learn that each of us is unique in our own special way, that we all have special talents to share with others. It just sometimes takes time to discover what they are. Baby Wren and the Great Gift is a hardback book designed for children 4-8 years of age (Preschool to Grade 2), and is beautifully written by award-winning Sally Lloyd-Jones, a leading writer of inspirational books for children. The book, approximately 11' wide x 9-1/4' high, is expertly illustrated by the highly talented Jen Corace. Her brightly colored vistas often flow across two open pages, providing a delightful panorama of the world around Baby Wren. Children and parents will love each scene and sharing the heart-warming messages contained within this exquisite book. It's bound to be a favorite that children will want to read again and again. (MyShelf.com)
This gentle read-aloud proves that everyone has a special gift to share as a baby wren leaves her nest to explore the world. Venturing out into the beautiful canyon, a kingfisher invites the wren to go fishing, ring-tailed cats ask her to join them in cartwheels, sunfish call to splash in the river, and eagles ask her to soar high above the storm clouds. But the baby wren cannot dive, do cartwheels, swim, or soar, compelling her to predictably ask why she cannot do these things. Lloyd-Jones’s lyrical text follows a comfortable pattern of wren’s unanswered question to each of her new friends (“Why aren’t I a sunfish...so I could swim and splash, too?) always followed by the refrain “But no one answered./Monarchs played in the milkweed./A breeze rustled in the switch grass./And the glittering river ran on.” Corace’s fine-lined and brightly colored drawings show the scenic details of the wren’s surroundings and the spectacular sunset as she discovers the magnificent call deep in her chest. Finding her special gift, the wren fills the canyon with a birdsong of thanks for all to hear. VERDICT Lovely and lyrical, this is a comforting story to be shared at storytime, bedtime, or anytime children are looking for reassurance of their special gifts.–Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY (School Library Journal)
Baby Wren looks out at the world around her, full of the wonder of ring-tailed cats cartwheeling over the walls of tall rock ledges and brave eagles soaring high in a stormy sky. What could a little bird like her do to match the wonder around her? She has no tail, she cannot swim, and she is much too little to be brave like an eagle. As the baby wren continues to explore the beauty around her, will she despair over what she lacks or instead discover a special gift? Baby Wren and the Great Gift by Sally Lloyd-Jones is an inspiring story of the wonder and beauty of the natural world as seen through the eyes of a newborn bird, who longs to be a part of it all but sees herself as miniscule in light of the other marvelous creatures. Yet through one glorious sight, the baby wren discovers her gift, finding her special purpose in God’s wondrous world. The story is told in a narrative fashion, the baby wren an apparent observer of all the beauty around her; however, there is a clear shift in perspective in the final two pages as the baby wren is then included in the description of the sights and sounds of the canyon. This shift from observer to participant mirrors the wren’s discovery of her place and part in creation. The rich, earth-toned color scheme of the illustrations brings warmth to the text and delights the eyes. Overall, this picture book is a story of self-discovery and belonging, which leads to thankfulness and praise, and would pair well with The Sleepy Songbird by Suzanne Barton. Justina McBride, CLJ (Christian Library Journal)
Top customer reviews
All gifts are wonderful.