I celebrate myself;
And what I assume you shall assume;
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.
- Song of Myself by Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, first published in the 1855 edition)
In this day when everyone wants to be like the popular TV personalities, it is important to have self-knowledge and rein in impulses that cause us to act as if another person is inhabiting our bodies. More importantly, it is vital to teach children to have confidence in themselves and see their uniqueness as priceless.
Little Bird, Be Quiet by Kirsten Hall illustrates this beautifully. It is about Little Bird, who loves nothing more than to gather knowledge and talk about it. Of what use is knowledge if you can’t share it, right? However, Little Bird’s talkativeness seems to be wearing his family out, as well as friends, and neighbours. No one wants Little Bird to talk to them.
A New Friend:
In despair, Little Bird leaves for the woods, seeking solace and friendship. Then he finds himself! Literarily. No, I kid. He finds his reflection on the surface of a brook and thinks it is another bird. He soon discovers his new little friend just listens to all he says without interruption, without judgement. Little Bird is happy.
Back home, it is quiet in Little Bird’s neighbourhood. His family miss him. His friends feel bored, they long for Little Bird’s chit-chats. Even the neighbours wonder where Little Bird is. They all come together to look for him. Finally, they find Little Bird and convince him to come back home.
Little Bird, Be Quiet is a quaint and lovely book that will appeal to children around 4 to 6 years old. The art is unique, 3D-like, and unlike most picture books out there. The dialogue is just right and the overall story is charming. Highly recommended.
Length: 36 pages
Publisher: Blue Apple (17 Mar. 2015)
Many thanks to Blue Apple Books for review copy