Empson, Jo. Little Home Bird ‡Jo Empson, Illus. Pic. Bk. Child’s Play, 07/2016. pp. $16.99. 978-1-84643-889-9. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-3.
When it is time to migrate, Little Bird brings his favorite things with him, including wind chimes and berries, but drops them one by one on the journey. Luckily, he finds many new favorite things at the winter home. The simple map on the last page, showing the migration from Great Britain to Africa, is a helpful framing device. The spare narrative uses some repetition and clear descriptions so the audience will understand what is happening, even if they don’t know the word “migration.” The artwork is as adept as the text, with lovely watercolor paintings that use splashes of color, giving the illustrations an energetic quality. Useful as a story about moving, as well as depicting the importance of home, nature, and family without being overly sweet.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool