Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Birds


By Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
HarperCollins, 2009. unpaged. Picture book.
How unusual to have a picture book written by Kevin Henkes, but not illustrated by him. In this lovely, surely Caldecott-contender, offering, Henkes and his wife Laura Dronzek have combined text and illustrations to perfect effect to reveal to their readers things everyone knows and loves about birds but cannot find the words for, until now. Birds on a telephone wire, for instance, that don't move, don't move, don't move and then you look away for a second and then . . . gone. What if clouds were birds? they would look like this. "Sometimes a bird in a tree looks like one red leaf left over." Just lovely. As comforting and beautiful a book as I have seen these many years.

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