Age Range: 4 to 7
Moving House? Of course you want to take all your favourite things with you! But what if you are a bird flying south for the winter?
The Story: Little Bird loves his home and all his favourite things but when the weather gets colder his brother tells him that they have to fly south. Little Bird takes his things with him but throughout the flight he has to get rid of them. When he finally arrives all his favourite things have gone but then Little Bird sees the positive side to his situation…
Children (and many adults) will identify with Little Bird’s need to be surrounded by his favourite things and his inability to leave them behind when he moves. However, Little Bird’s lost items bring joy to others, including a shepherd and a porcupine, and once he gets to his new home he discovers new favourite things. We love the final double spread in which Little Bird’s nest is full again, it’s a lovely contrast to the empty nest that he arrives with. Jo Empson has created a really endearing character, we feel Little Bird’s sense of indecision when he has to leave his home, his sense of loss when his favourite things have gone and we share his joy when his nest is no longer empty.
The length of Little Bird’s journey is shown through a succession of very different landscapes and Jo Empson’s double page spreads are beautiful. They include a snowstorm, a thunderstorm and my favourite, this gorgeous sunset showing the silhouettes of Little Bird and his friends.
Little Home Bird would be a lovely book to include in a classroom topic on birds, particularly if you are talking about migration. The range of landscapes that Jo Empson has included and the different weather conditions can contribute to discussions about how far birds must fly and why. It’s also a great story to stimulate discussion about moving house or the loss of favourite items.
Author / Illustrator: Jo Empson
Thank you to Child’s Play for sending us a copy of Little Home Bird. It’s a beautifully illustrated account of the journey that many birds make to escape a cold winter but also parallels and acknowledges the emotions that children can also feel when they have more than one home.