Booklist Editors’ Choice Pick
School Library Journal:
PreS-Gr 1–One morning, a young bluebird is surprised to discover that the wind is missing. She has never flown without her friend, so she decides to find it. She goes in search of all of its usual hangouts: among the dandelions in the park, underneath the willow tree, at the rustling newspapers of the local cafe, around a floating balloon, on a flagpole, and beyond. Finally, she finds it at the top of a very high building. It is here that she realizes she has been flying all on her own. With newfound confidence, she takes off with her friend, the wind, to find new adventures. The delicate illustrations are droll and whimsical with rich details of the park and surrounding cityscape make this a delightful, low-key exploration.–Laura Hunter, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
Starred Booklist Review - "A little bluebird attempts a solo journey from the nest with, for the first time, no help from her friend, Wind. Maybe the wind is taking a day off? Confused, but curious, she goes exploring over the pond and out of the park to seek the wind in the café, market, and city dwellings. Flying through Grandma’s window and around and about, she finally lights atop the tallest building all on her own! Quite pleased with herself, she soars up into the clouds, meeting her gusty playmate at last. Oversize double page spreads washed in muted neutrals and highlighted by olive green and specks of color carry the bird’s journey forward as she searches. Large areas of negative space overlaid with delicate line drawings convey a familiar and yet otherworldly place for the little avian flyer, while Yankey’s intriguing use of an aerial perspective inspires readers to turn pages sideways to view all the details of the park and the city. Throughout children will enjoy discovering Bluebird’s location on the page and evidence of the wind’s absence (motionless sails on the toy boats, a limply drooping flag, and inert laundry on the line.) Gorgeous flowered wallpaper and multicolored scarf patterns contrast with quieter pages employing exquisite detailed pen and ink drawings and collage. At the end of this visual treasure, Bluebird soars happily with the wind through the clouds in a seemingly limitless sky."
A story of a missing friend found and of confidence gained, Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey is pure pleasure. It is a quiet, thoughtful story wrapping around you like a warm hug. This is a book meant to be shared anytime with anyone. - Librarian's Quest
Nayu's Reading Corner - By having her friend Wind go missing Bluebird discovers how life can go on without something, but it's never exactly the same. This sense of loneliness isn't a negative emotion because there is a lot of hope from Bluebird, until the end when she discovers something wonderful. The graceful illustrations use bright colours to hone in on particular elements of the story, sometimes a small area is bright and other times a large one. I liked the contrast this provided - I found it fun spotting where Bluebird was first then I would look at the rest of the picture.
Sturdy for Common Things -
Whimsical illustrations using various materials of collage, pencil, ink, linoleum block, and paint that play with dimension abound. Each spread could be a stand-alone, but the beauty is in how each one enhances the others in a dreamy compilation brought together by bluebird’s story. A deep richness is emphasized in each illustration and a diversity they collectively create. I’ve been an admirer of Lindsey Yankey’s work since seeing it on display in Downtown Lawrence a few years back, and am so excited to share this book with you. Bluebird is a delightful story with luminous art which will send imaginations soaring.
Reading Power Gear - I was totally drawn to this book by the cover. A bird’s eye view from a bird’s eye view. This is a charming story about a bluebird who is searching for her friend, the wind. The repetitive text and the extraordinary details in each picture makes this a perfect read-aloud or quiet bed-time sharing. I love how determined the little bird is. As soon as I got to the last page, I went back and read it again!
Another lovely book from Vancouver publisher Simply Read Books. This company offers, in the parlance of the recording industry, indie illustrated works for children. From re-imagined classics such as Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky to new works like this one, Simply Read has an unusual catalogue.
Bluebird consists of a soothing, familiar sequence of events as a little bird tries to find the wind which has been her constant companion. Why? She can't fly without it! After checking out the condition of the dandelions (seed heads still intact) and a kite, another obvious partner of the wind (just lying on bench), she feels "confused and curious".
...she hurried over to the willow at the end of the park.
Just the day before, the wind had been tickling the grass
with the willow branches. But now her friend was nowhere
to be found.
There is a great view of coffee drinkers at outdoor tables, all their newspapers undisturbed by any breeze. And there is the line of laundry completely at rest.
Finally she reached the wind's favorite window.
The wind loved to make music with Grandma
Brooks' wind chimes. But even here she couldn't
hear a whisper from her friend.
When the bluebird has almost given up her search, she realizes that she has gotten to the top of the tallest building on her own. She has been flying all along without the wind's help. But the wind returns anyway, to accompany her and her new self-confidence in their explorations.
Delightful illustrations of city life are described in muted colours. Bluebird sees scenes from above, below and even inside, as when she works her way through a display of hanging scarves (whose fringes are, alas, not aflutter). The story has been fashioned with care and is told neatly and poetically. Restraint gives a European feel to the book.
Bluebird is the first English-language picture book to the credit of Yankey, a young American artist, although she does have some Italian publications to her name. She is certainly a talent to be watched.