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Paper Bird

Paper Bird

by Arcadio Lobato, Emilio Urberuaga (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Charm, whimsy and a subtle message about the importance of art are the primary ingredients in this refreshing collaboration that marks an auspicious artistic debut. A paper bird, drawn by an artist as a gift for his daughter, has his dreams of flying answered when the artist's cat tosses him out the window. But the paper bird yearns to fly up as well as down, so a trio of friendly ravens direct him to the wise owl for advice (``We are simple ravens and do not know about such things as talking paper birds''). Ultimately a gaggle of city birds pegs the problem: ``That's not a real bird at all! That's art!... Art is never really alive.'' In a heartening twist, however, the paper bird gets his wish-and youngsters are reminded that dreams can, sometimes unexpectedly, come true. Occasionally calling to mind the work of Tony Ross, Urberuaga's sketchy pen-and-watercolor drawings are a glowing complement to Lobato's stylish, often tongue-in-cheek tale. His simply drawn but expressive characters add a wry dimension, while shifts in palette effortlessly suggest the changing locales. Like its hero, this tale flies high. Ages 5-9. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In this Swiss import, an artist draws a picture of a bird for his daughter; overhearing the man say that it will be ``so real, it will fly,'' the paper creation becomes determined to do so. That night, after an annoyed cat tosses it out the window, it floats down to the branches of a tree occupied by ravens. Unable to teach it to fly, they take it to the owl. Thus begins a succession of unsuccessful visits to various birds. Discouraged, the paper bird sadly floats down. The contrite cat carefully returns it to the artist's house, where he completes his present: the paper bird becomes a kite, happily soaring above the city. The story is competently told through Lobato's straightforward text. The colors effectively change from the blues, greens, and grays of night to the golds and pinks of morning. The witty, cartoonlike illustrations, primarily full-and double-page spreads, are rendered in pen and ink and watercolor, and employ a sketchy line, somewhat similar to Quentin Blake's work, but are not quite as busy. The paper bird's expressions change throughout its adventures. The real birds are somewhat stylized with big, round white eyes that create a humorous effect. The perspective suits the story as readers follows the bird from its creation in a tall garret to the treetops, statues on a roof, a lighthouse, and finally its exuberant flight. An enjoyable selection for independent reading or group sharing.-Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.29(w) x 11.72(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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