CM . . . . Volume XV Number 17. . . .April 17, 2009.
Boo Hoo Bird.
New York, NY: Scholastic Press, (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada, 2009.
28 pp., hardcover, $16.99.
Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 3-5.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
Beaver showed Bird’s boo-boo to Sheep.
“How about a game of hide-and-seek?” suggested Sheep.
The animals ran and hid.
“You want me to hide?” wailed Bird. “I CAN HARDLY WALK!!!”
“Surely Fox can make you feel better,” said Sheep. “He’s clever.”
Readers first met the delightful Bird two years ago in Grumpy Bird when the little feathered guy woke up one morning in a bad mood. In Boo Hoo Bird, the story begins and concludes on the book’s endpapers. On the opening endpapers, Bird is playing a game of catch with Racoon, but on the next double page spread, Bird misses the ball and gets bonked on the head, a happening which brings forth tears. Raccoon tries to alleviate Bird’s pain by kissing the bonk. When the kiss doesn’t work, Raccoon takes Bird through a series of meetings with Bird’s animal friends, with each offering a “cure”: Rabbit provides a hug, Beaver a cookie, Sheep a distracting game of hide-and-seek, and Fox a Band-Aid. However, none of their efforts work, and Bird actually intensifies his crying, an action which causes the friends to begin crying too. With his friends in tears, Bird decides that his bonk “didn’t really hurt anymore.” However, his crying friends can’t hear him, and so Bird displays a bit of the testiness he exhibited in Grumpy Bird and shouts: “ I said “I’M ALL BETTER NOW!” To demonstrate that he has truly recovered, Bird stands on his head, and his friends mimic his action. Bird then suggests, “Come on...let’s play catch!” The closing endpapers show the six friends togther with Fox now throwing the ball to Bird who, once again, get bonked.
Young children and their parents will certainly identify with the animal friends’ attempts to mollify the likely more startled than actually hurt Bird. Kisses and hugs, Band-Aids, treats and distractions are all part of the “medicine kit” utilized by parents to treat children’s minor scrapes and bruises.
As he had in Grumpy Bird, Tankard creates the illustrations for Boo Hoo Bird using ink and digital media, and once again they are perfect for the intended audience.
Dave Jenkinson, who lives in Winnipeg, MB, is CM’s editor.
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