A Home for Bird, by Philip Stead

Philip Stead’s A HOME FOR BIRD is the book that made us fall in love with this remarkable author. If you like compassion, friendship and empathy highlighted in picture books, this is the book for you!

Philip Stead a Home For Bird

A Home for Bird by Philip Stead was Pickle's favorite book from the first library haul I shared with you. I must say, I was pretty excited that my little guy became so enamored with this lovely story about empathy. If you don't have any of Stead's picture books in your library, it is time you get some. His contribution to children's literature is outstanding, and I particularly love the way in which he explores his chosen themes organically and without ever feeling pedantic.

A Home For Bird begins with an important illustration that clues the reader in to much about the title character's journey: Bird is pictured being catapulted out of a cuckoo clock that is packed into the back of an overloaded truck. Bird is quickly found by Vernon, a curious toad, who comes to realize that the quiet Bird must miss his home. Thus begins the journey to find the place Bird calls home; Vernon believes Bird will only speak up when they get there.

What follows is an exceptional portrayal of what it means to be empathetic. Vernon goes on this journey solely for Bird's sake and simply because he believes Bird is lonely and missing home. Vernon seeks nothing in return: no snack, no gifts, no tangible object. I love how this book presents the concept of friendship and giving in such a pure and tender manner. Though I'll admit I'm more of a fan of Stead's illustrations in some of his other books (I'm a little obsessed with his work in both A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Bear has a Story to Tell), the expressive pictures match the emotional depth of this story and take the reader well beyond the narrative. This is a beautiful portrayal of selflessness, and I couldn't be happier that this is the story that Pickle was most drawn to of all the books in our stack. A win, win for both of us!

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