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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bird Child, written by Nan Forler and illustrated by Francois Thisdale. Tundra Books, 2009. $21.99 ages 5 and up

"One day Eliza's bus made a new stop in front of an old house. It looked as worn and tired as the clothing on the girl who burst through the door and bounded up the steps of the bus."

From birth Eliza’s mother has given her wings to be the best she can be, and to look to the stars for inspiration and guidance. Eliza in intrigued when Lainey boards the bus with her scruffy coat and unruly hair. She sees in her a joy in life that is not blurred by unfortunate circumstance. When Lainey becomes the target of schoolyard bullies, Eliza stands back, believing there is little that she can do to make the situation better. Lainey’s eternal joy is replaced with sadness and disinterest. Eliza’s concern spills forth in a conversation with her mother who helps the young girl see that she has the skills to teach Lainey ‘to fly’. This is a powerful and uplifting story that helps us realize one person can make a difference in the lives of others. Thisdale’s haunting artwork adds just the right touch.

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