Breathtaking. That's all I can say. I love this book. I'm sure that the shoppers in the Tattered Cover heard an audible sigh when I finished it and they looked over at the winged back chair in the corner to see who was sitting there reading... Jane Yolen has done it again. I loved Elsie's Bird. Jane's words coupled with David Small's illustrations have created, for me, a wonderful addition to my collection. Who says picture books are dying? Obviously they haven't read this one...
Elsie, the main character loves her life in Boston, full of noises and the bustle of the city. She loves city live with all its sounds. Then her mother dies and her father moves them to the prairies of Nebraska looking for a new life. The change is almost more than Elsie can handle.
She is frightened by her new life. She finds hope and comfort in her canary, Timmy Tune. But one day her bird flies out the window while she is alone and she has to look for him in the tall grass of the prairie. There she discovers that all her fear was in vain as she listens to the sounds of wild birds singing. When her father returns from his trip to town, he brings new animals to turn their home into "a true prairie home."
This is a beautiful book both in both words and illustrations. It's simplicity. It's complexity. It's beauty. You won't be disappointed!
Trust me, as long as we have Jane Yolen and David Small... picture books are well and breathing into our souls!