The Dead Bird

The Dead Bird

Book - 2016
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A New York Times Best Illustrated Book

This heartwarming classic picture book by beloved children's book author Margaret Wise Brown is gorgeously reillustrated for a contemporary audience by the critically acclaimed, award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson.

One day, the children find a bird lying on its side with its eyes closed and no heartbeat. They are very sorry, so they decide to say good-bye. In the park, they dig a hole for the bird and cover it with warm sweet-ferns and flowers. Finally, they sing sweet songs to send the little bird on its way.

A beautiful book to share with children beginning to grapple with loss.

Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2016.
Edition: Newly illustrated edition.
ISBN: 9780060289317
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,colour illustrations ;,29 cm.
Additional Contributors: Robinson, Christian - Illustrator


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Nov 11, 2017

Death is a natural part of life, and I think most children know this organically, and it is adults who have forgotten that. In my opinion, Margaret Wise Brown was a kind of wasp griot, and this story has a lot of West African notes in it, particularly the mourning song. The illustrations are updated so that two of the children are of colour. Both of them are wearing costumes, and neither of the white children are. I'm not certain the illustrator did that consciously. Or with any of several intents that seem obvious.

ArapahoeAndrew Feb 28, 2017

Robinson and Brown make the scary concept of death more comforting for children (and adults). As the title implies, death is conveyed through the discovery of a dead bird, and mirrors the curiosity children have in everyday life. It is not morbid and is a great way for parents to engage in the subject with children in a meaningful, relatable way. Full of beautiful illustrations, there is a feeling of life through the amount of lush, green depictions of a park. With a balance of text and images, it will keep audiences of all ages emotionally engaged.

Nov 30, 2016

Brown captures the realistic reaction of a diverse group of kids when they find a dead bird (except the kid who wants to poke it is missing). Vivid illustrations and repetitive words help the reader go through the grieving process with the children.

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