This heartwarming classic picture book by beloved children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown is beautifully 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.
This book was first published in 1938, a great book for younger children to learn about death. Knowing that they are gone but will never be forgotten. The simple story of a group of children finding the dead bird and burying it with a little, sincere and heart-felt ceremony was comforting to her, and with the last picture of the children playing nearby and falling leaves beginning to cover the little grave they will able to understand the finality of death. This simple book seems to communicate emotionally. Good for smaller children. Simple but simple is not a bad thing for children.
Both innocent and wise, the children sing about the bird’s death and cry before inscribing a stone to place on top. Robinson stays true to the intent of the original text and illustrations but elegantly improves upon it with cinematic storytelling. His setting is a lush urban park filled with trees, bridges, and ponds, framed by a city skyline. And his characters are diverse in gender and ethnicity but universal in their emotions, curiosity, and playfulness. This book is listed for ages 4-8 and is indeed a little sad.
The illustrations are appropriate and compliment the story. This is another classic from Brown that is a book every little one should read. More Margaret Wise Brown books will be released and re-illustrated for today’s audiences including one never-before-published so be looking out for them.