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Saturday, February 11, 2017

SHY, written and illustrated by Deborah Freedman. Viking, Penguin. 2016. $23.99 ages 5 and up

"It was the bird!
She sparkled!
Just like the sun ...
... and the sea ...
Shy never imagined
the world was so grand.
Perhaps, one day, he
would try to see more.
With the bird, Shy
thought, he could go

As the very proud mom of an introvert, I can only wish that he had been able to read Deborah Freedman's book as an inquisitive and aware child. He would have appreciated knowing that others were like him ... content with his books and avoiding conversation when possible.

Shy literally wants to be 'between the pages of a book'. The very thin arrow on the book's first page show readers where he is hiding. He's in the gutter of the book. We learn that Shy loves to read books, especially books about birds. He has never heard birdsong.

When a yellow songbird lands on his pile of books, Shy is captivated and wants badly to speak. Before he works up the courage, the bird has flown away. For the first time ever, Shy leaves all that is comfortable to follow the bird. The journey is long and filled with wonder for Shy, who sees so much that is new. Astonished, he finds even more birds, including the one he has been seeking. What a friendship they might have. If only ...

Will Shy be too timid to speak?

You know me to be a fan of this brilliant artist! I have told you about her earlier books. The artwork here is captivating, providing a glorious background to Shy's journey of discovery. The soft watercolors and beautiful lines create a world that welcomes Shy and gives him the courage to step away from what is familiar to find his way to something new and quite lovely.

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