What's the Magic Word?

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No matter where Little Bird goes, everyone wants to know the magic word. Is it "Peep-peep?" "Moo-moo?" "Oink-oink?"

How will Little Bird ever find out? Not until Little Bird returns home does he hear the magic word from his very own Mama Bird!

Kelly DiPucchio's rhythmic and noise-filled text combines with Marsha Winborn's colorful illustrations for a delightful swirl of a book.

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No matter where Little Bird goes, everyone wants to know the magic word. Is it "Peep-peep?" "Moo-moo?" "Oink-oink?"

How will Little Bird ever find out? Not until Little Bird returns home does he hear the magic word from his very own Mama Bird!

Kelly DiPucchio's rhythmic and noise-filled text combines with Marsha Winborn's colorful illustrations for a delightful swirl of a book.

As a newly-hatched bird is blown around the farmyard by a strong wind, he keeps learning passwords that will allow him to enter different animal's homes, but is blown away again before he has the chance to go in.

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Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The rhyming text adds a charming touch to this gentle introduction to manners."
San Diego Union-Tribune
"Comical and dynamic."
San Francisco Chronicle
"The fun is in the upbeat rhymes, the shwooshing action and the bird’s learn-as-you-go education."
Publishers Weekly
Youngsters may well know the answer to the titular question, but the book's hero must learn the hard way. Bounced around the farm by gusts of wind, the newly hatched Little Bird seeks shelter with a variety of barnyard inhabitants. But each animal first asks to hear "the magic word" in its particular language (e.g., "Moo-moo" for the cow, "Buzz-buzz" for the bee). Consequently, whatever Little Bird learns in one environment doesn't carry over to the next. "Bow-wow?" offers Little Bird to a family of owls, having just been blown over from the doghouse. "No, no," reply the owls. "Haven't you heard? Hoo-hoo is the magic word, silly Little Bird!" At long last, the wind blows the poor chick back to his own nest, where his mother awaits with a hug and instruction: "Come in Little Bird. Get out of that breeze! And haven't you heard? The magic word is... Please!" The premise doesn't bear close scrutiny (Why would Mama Bird require a human word if none of the other animals do?) but DiPucchio (Liberty's Journey) and Winborn (A Valentine for Norman Noggs) smooth over the lack of logic. The brisk text swirls around the pages in imitation of the blustery winds, and gentle slapstick punctuates the meticulously detailed watercolors. It also helps that fluffy and ever-game Little Bird is an irresistible hero-even when he lands headfirst in the dog's water dish. Ages 3-6. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Little Bird is whooshed from place to place by the wind. Everywhere he tries to enter he is asked for the magic word. At each place, the inhabitant offers him the word, but before he can use it, the wind whisks him away to a place where that word is not right, and he has to learn a new one. The cow tells him that "Moo-moo" is magic, but then at the beehive he is told "Buzz-buzz" is it. Of course, a dog demands "Bow-wow" at his house, while the owl tells him he must use "Hoo-hoo." Luckily he finally arrives at a nest, where his Mama Bird gives him the correct magic word, "Please." The brief rhyming verses give readers and listeners a chance to practice animal sounds while finally reinforcing the magic word we wish all children to know. Winborn supplies light-hearted ink and watercolor double-page scenes that visualize the whirling wind's whooshing trajectory containing the repetitious verse and the appropriate details of each animal's location. Little Bird is a charming yellow powder puff with feet and twitchy tail-feathers, taking each adventure with good spirit despite the knocking about of the wind. 2005, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 3 to 6.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Little Bird has barely hatched out of his shell when a gusty gale picks him up and sends him swirling into the sky. Landing near a hay-filled stall, he asks the resident cow if he can come inside. The cow demands, "What's the magic word, Little Bird?" The youngster tries "Peep-peep?" but is soon set straight: "No, no. Haven't you heard?/Moo-moo/is the magic word-." Just then, the breeze comes again, and this time, the chick winds up in front of a beehive, where the magic word is "Buzz-buzz." Every time the wind sweeps Little Bird up, he lands near a different animal's home and the required phrase changes again. In the end, he is finally blown back to his original branch, where Mama Bird is waiting to ask him for the magic word. The poor little creature tries them all, only to learn that the answer is "Please!" The gently rhyming text twists and dances around the pages to stimulate gusts of wind. Rendered in pen and markers touched with brushstrokes of watercolor, the pastel-hued illustrations bring the charming farm and its occupants to life. Little Bird and his mother are plump yellow creatures with tiger-striped wings and speckled bellies. Don't wait for a blustery day to share this tale, which is suitable for both storytimes and one-on-one reading.-Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Most pre-readers know the answer to that one-and they'd better, to make sense of this breezy (in several senses) but confusing effort. A sudden wind carries newly hatched Little Chick off to a cow's stall, where his request for shelter is met with a counter-request for the Magic Word. No sooner does he learn that it's not "Peep-peep" but "Moo-moo," than that wind sweeps him away to a beehive-where the Word's not "Moo-moo" but "Buzz-buzz." And so on, past hound ("Bow-wow"), owl ("Hoo-hoo") and pig ("Oink-oink"), until Little Chick fetches up back at the nest, where his mother informs him that the Magic Word is none of the above-it's "Please." Advocates of an English-only curriculum, take note. Little Chick and his mom look like ruffled, diminutive cousins of Big Bird in Winborn's simple farmyard scenes, but there the resemblance to Sesame Street's multicultural viewpoint ends. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060005795
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly DiPucchio is the author of numerous children's books, including the New York Times bestselling Grace for President. She also wrote Dinosnores, What's the Magic Word?, and Bed Hogs. Kelly lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and three children.

Marsha Winborn, illustrator of A Valentine for Norman Noggs, has also illustrated Grandma's Cat and the Digby and Kate series. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Marsha Winborn es ilustradora de varios libros para lectores jóvenes, incluyendo A Valentine for Norman Noggs, por Valiska Gregory, Pepper's Journal y Probably Pistachio por Stuart J. Murphy, y Eggnapped!, por Marisa Montes.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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