i am a bird

There’s something so satisfying when simple premises get at big truths, like Hope Lim and Hyewon Yum‘s I AM A BIRD.

In this story, a father bikes his daughter around their town on the way to dropping her off at school. She loves birds and enjoys the people they meet on their way. Except one.

Things I love about this book:

1) Fathers and daughters–is it just me, or do we not see enough of these indomitable duos?

2) After noticing someone she hasn’t seen before, someone who looks a little different from the people she’s used to, maybe a little more reserved, a little worn thin, the girl comes out and says something that I think is so perceptive and smart:

“Daddy, I don’t like her.”

The dad offers up a response that challenges the girl’s reaction. But the girl won’t be placated, and Hyewon Yum does some nifty things with the art when the girl wonders if the woman is not as harmless as the dad says.

The girl and woman eventually find a point of connection and thaw toward each other, which is essential for the kinds of interactions we want our kids to have, and the MC learns a lesson that expands her world – imo, the very best kind. How often do we allow kiddos to express their gut reaction, their dislikes and suspicions? It’s a fine line, for all the obvious reasons, but this story handles it superbly. Letting the MC struggle, and keeping the antagonist aloof – not everyone has to think you’re cute, kid! – to eventually bring them together through common ground. Caw caw, my friends, cheep cheep.

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