Synopses & Reviews
"In a promising debut for both Elliott and Strickland, this picture book tells a poignant story about a boy whose loving family, friends and a gift for drawing help him navigate difficult emotions surrounding the deaths of his grandfather and drug-addicted brother. A complicated weaving of impressive watercolor, gouache, charcoal and ink drawings amplifies the metaphors and action of the poetic text as it combines black-and-white with color. Never straying from believable language in casting Mehkai, the child, as narrator, Elliott skillfully unfolds the sequence of events. Both art and text nimbly play with Mehkai's nickname, Bird, beginning with the image of a shivering bird that, like his brother, seems to be blown away by a gust of wind, and continuing with Uncle Son's attempt to explain the brother's death: ' 'You can fix a broken wing with a splint,/ and a bird can fly again,' he said./ 'But you can't fix a broken soul.' ' The simplicity of the narrative belies the complexity of the themes; it would be a shame if the picture book format discouraged the proper audience from examining the book. Ages 8 12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An African-American boy nicknamed Bird uses drawing as a creative outlet as he struggles to make sense of his grandfather's death and his brother's drug addiction. Illustrations.
Young Mekhai, better known as Bird, loves to draw. With drawings, he can erase the things that don't turn out right. In real life, problems aren t so easily fixed.
As Bird struggles to understand the death of his beloved grandfather and his older brother s drug addiction, he escapes into his art. Drawing is an outlet for Bird s emotions and imagination, and provides a path to making sense of his world. In time, with the help of his grandfather s friend, Bird finds his own special somethin and wings to fly.
Told with spare grace, Bird is a touching look at a young boy coping with real-life troubles. Readers will be heartened by Bird s quiet resilience, and moved by the healing power of putting pencil to paper.
Bird, the recipient of Lee & Low's New Voices Award Honor, is the first picture book of both Zetta Elliot and Shadra Strickland.