by Teague, Mark

When Mama bird decides it is time for Baby bird to leave the nest and learn how to fly south, an apprehensive Baby considers whimsical alternatives, in a wordless picture book by the best-selling creator of the Dear Mrs. LaRue series. 100,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Mark Teague is the award-winning children&;s book author and illustrator of the bestselling Dear Mrs. LaRue series, as well as Fly!; The Sky Is Falling!; The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf; The Tree House That Jack Built by Bonnie Verburg; and many other humorous picture books. He also created the art for the How Do Dinosaurs&; series. His illustrated novel, The Doom Machine, received excellent reviews. Mark lives in the Hudson River Valley with his wife and two daughters.

In this wordless picture book, a fledgling robin with a vivid imagination keeps resisting its father's encouragement to fly. The first double-page spread clearly and cleverly shows a sequence in which a young robin in its nest passes gradually from the stage of pink and un-feathered to fluffy and then flight-ready. The father robin has been busily stuffing the child's beak with whole worms, another signal that the youngster is maturing. Bold brush strokes and strong colors depict the birds, their nest on a branch, and surrounding foliage—with plenty of negative space to make room for speech bubbles. The "speech" consists of clear images showing a comical struggle between parent and child. Most of the "conversation" takes place on the ground, after the fledgling has inadvertently tumbled from its nest. The anthropomorphic facial expressions and body language are laugh-out-loud funny, as are the fledgling's ridiculous, na├»ve pictorial retorts to every reason the adult gives for learning to fly. The baby imagines itself using all kinds of transportation—including, but not limited to, gail y colored hot air balloons, skateboards, and trains—and the father becomes increasingly frustrated. Children will giggle at the power struggle, recognizing human behaviors. Robins, like humans, share all aspects of parenting, and it is commendable that the art depicts this parent as male. As nightfall approaches, the adult finally succeeds in motivating its child, leading to a harmonious concluding scene. Funny, feathery finesse. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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