Island Baby

Island Baby

by Holly Keller

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Pops, a man who runs a bird hospital on an island, and his young helper Simon nurse an injured baby bird back to health.  See more details below


Pops, a man who runs a bird hospital on an island, and his young helper Simon nurse an injured baby bird back to health.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Aglow with the brilliant colors of the Caribbean landscape, Keller's ( Goodbye, Max ; Horace ) watercolor paintings positively dazzle the eye. Her crisply defined, unadorned scenes portray the rich blue of the sky, the glimmering turquoise of the sea and the rainbow of shades found in various species of native birds. The story centers on an amiable boy who rescues a wounded baby flamingo and, with the help of a kindly older man who is a bird doctor, nurses it back to health. At summer's close, Simon reluctantly goes with Pops to set the healed flamingo free. Carrying a basket of laundry on her head, Simon's mother comforts him--and lets him know how proud she is of him--at the end of this gentle, reassuring tale. As an extra visual treat, Keller decorates the left-hand pages (those containing text) with borders featuring flamingos, gulls, pelicans and other vibrantly hued birds. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Simon helps his grandfather run a hospital for sick and wounded birds. One day, with Pops' help, he rescues a baby flamingo with a broken leg. He cares for his patient all summer until, reluctantly, he releases Baby in a salt marsh with other flamingos. Readers will see the parallel relationship between Simon and the adults in his life. They are about to let him go off to school just as he is setting his friend free in the wild. Simon is proud of his protegee's accomplishments even though he is sad to see him go. Keller's highly stylized paintings are lovelier than ever. The boy's face is depicted as a circle of one flat shade of brown topped with a black crescent of hair, two tiny squiggly lines for nose and mouth. But his eyes, in spite of the lack of detail, still show a dreamy contentment as parrots perch along his outstretched arms. Wide bands of bright colors decorated with rows of brilliant birds border text on the left and face full-page paintings filled with hot sun, cool shade, and skies of polarized blue. A beautifully oblique tale of passages, Keller's pictures and story are pleasing to both the eye and the heart. Simon is destined to become a favorite with children who are just beginning to loosen their family ties and to form new ones with the larger world. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Julie Corsaro
Child-pleasing paintings in vibrant tropical hues illustrate an affectionate and reassuring story about a small black boy and an injured baby bird. After finishing his morning duties at his grandfather's bird hospital, Simon discovers a baby flamingo floundering in the Caribbean Sea. Loving Pops scoops "Baby" out of the water, and Simon spends the summer nursing it back to health. Then come the "dreaded" words: "It's about time to set Baby free." Sad at first, Simon is proud when he sees a flock of flamingos in flight, as proud as his mother promises him she will be when he starts school in the fall. Surrounded by decorative borders containing handsomely plumed birds, each full page of text faces a full-page illustration in watercolor and black pen that shows expressive characters amid the lovely island landscape.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
11.83(w) x 9.55(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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