Picture Books – Nerdy Birdy Tweets; Where Oliver Fits; Town is by the Sea

Reynolds, Aaron. Nerdy Birdy Tweets. Ill. Matt Davies, Roaring Brook Press, 2017. 978-1-62672-128-9. Unpaged. $17.99. Gr. K-2.

“One real live you is worth a thousand Tweetster friends.” and so is the lesson of Nerdy Birdy Tweets, a humourous look at how society manages friendship and what true friendship truly means.  Nerdy Birdy and Vulture are best friends, but when Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetser he ignores Vulture for his hundreds of “friends”, many of whom Nerdy Birdy has never met.  When Vulture joins Tweetster everything seems okay until Nerdy Birdy shares a picture and comment about Vulture that hurts her feelings.  Now, Nerdy Birdy must figure out what to do, but none of his “friends” on Tweetster are helpful.  It’s up to Nerdy Birdy to find Vulture and make things right again because “One real live you is worth a thousand Tweetster friends.”  Thoughts:  This is a wonderful book about friendship and what true friendship is.  It teaches young children to think about your actions before putting them out there for everyone to see.  Many adults could learn from this picture book.  The illustrations, as always, are fabulous.  They are colorful and fun to interact with through both the spoken text and written text.

Picture Book      Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

 

Atkinson, Cale. Where Oliver Fits. Tundra Books, 2017. 978-1-101-91907-1. Unpaged. $17.99. Gr. K-2.

Oliver doesn’t seem to fit in.  He’s too short or not square enough; his color isn’t right, or he’s too round.  He just doesn’t fit in, but Oliver wants to fit in, so he decides to change himself in order to fit in.  He’s accepted by the purple puzzle, but he wonders, “If I have to hide and pretend I’m someone else, am I really still me?”  Then he questions, “And if I can’t be me, then what fun is it to fit in?”  When Oliver decides to just be himself, he realizes that other puzzle pieces have changed their appearances to try to fit in.  He realizes that being oneself is better than trying to fit in because in time one will find his fit.  THOUGHTS:  This is a beautifully, brightly illustrated text about staying true to one’s own character and self.  This is a lesson that everyone needs throughout life and is especially important for students developing their own personalities and character.  The symbolism of Oliver as a puzzle piece is also a great way of introducing symbolism to elementary students.  This is a great picture book not only for elementary students but for character lessons in middle and high school.

Picture Book    Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

 

Schwartz, Joanne. Town Is By the Sea. Ill.  Sydney Smith. Groundwood Books, 2017.  978-15549-8716. $19.95. 52 pp. Gr. K-2.

This picture book follows one day in the life of a Cape Breton boy in the 1950s as he plays by the sea, visits a friend, runs an errand for his mother, and thinks of his father working in the mines deep beneath the sea.  Beautifully illustrated, this is a well-crafted mix of light and dark, seen in the sunshine on the sea vs. the deep dark of the mines and in the freedom of childhood vs. the dirt and weightiness of adulthood.  The boy loves his family and town, and his family loves him.  There is no sadness over their lives or of the change that will come from growing up.  The book matter-of-factly ends, “One day, it will be my turn. I’m a miner’s son. In my town, that’s the way it goes.” THOUGHTS: This is a frank and respectful look at hard expectations, well-written and well-illustrated.  

Picture Book      Melissa Scott, Shenango Area SD

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