The Day I Became A Bird – Ingrid Chabbert

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image from amazon.com
  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 2
  • Lexile Measure: 360
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (September 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1771386215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1771386210

 

EXCERPT from Kids Can Press:

The day he starts school, a young boy falls in love for the very first time. Sylvia sits in front of him at school, and he’s so in love with her, she’s all he can see. But sadly, Sylvia doesn’t see him. In fact, it seems the only thing Sylvia has eyes for is birds. “There are birds on her pants and dresses. She wears bird barrettes in her hair. She draws birds on her notebooks and folders. And when she speaks, her voice sounds like birdsong.” So in a bold attempt to get Sylvia’s attention, the boy decides to go to school dressed up as a bird. He endures the stares and giggles of his classmates, and a great deal of discomfort, but the boy doesn’t care. Because when it comes to love, sometimes you have no choice but to follow your heart and spread your wings.

In this sweetly funny picture book, Ingrid Chabbert perfectly captures the emotional essence of a child’s first love. The boy’s voice as narrator is realistic and endearing as he engagingly and honestly shares the wonder of his experience. With imagination and gentle humor, Guridi uses spare lines in mostly black and white drawings to tenderly express the poignant heart of the story. This book offers a terrific exploration of young children’s self-discovery and self-expression, as well as the early development of social skills. It makes a wonderful read-aloud to launch a classroom discussion about relationships and feelings.

Rationale for Inclusion: This book is a beautiful representation of how minimalism and greyscale can express so much. This little boy will overcome any situation to get the attentions of the girl of his dreams, going so far as to dress in a giant bird hat to get her attention. Her name being Sylvia reminds an adult reader of Sylvia Plath, surely, which evokes this double layer of meaning and poetry to the book. A great children’s book will reach both the child as well as the adult, and this book does a great job of piquing the interest of a child as well as adding layers of meaning for an adult. It’s one of my favorite books for its artistic style and beautiful symbolism.

Kids Can Press book trailer:

 

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