Lonely Bird

Candlewick. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536226188.
K-Gr 3–A tiny paper bird lives behind the green bookshelf in a young girl’s room and creates art out of found objects such as thread, tape, and rubber bands. One day she makes a new friend, a crinkled piece of spiral-bound paper that she crafts into a six-legged, long-tongued animal, but when her friend is sucked up by a monster (the vacuum), Lonely Bird sets off on a daring adventure to rescue him. Spare oil paintings that are luminous and detailed bring the simple household objects of Lonely Bird’s world to life and the white 2D bird appears stark and small in contrast. Children will enjoy looking at the home from the small bird’s perspective. The narrative, tight with few words, puts the emphasis on the art. The only human visible is the young girl (“like her, the smallest human likes to make things”) who scoops up the rescued paper friend at the end and includes it in her own artwork. Lonely Bird, in turn, turns the adventure into an illustrated book that he reads to the wall outlet.
VERDICT A distinctive, tender tale about friendship and the endless possibilities of art and creativity, this is recommended for picture book collections, but would also complement makerspaces.

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