A Reminder that Life Is Unexpected: Little Bird by Germano Zullo and Illustrated by Albertine

Little BirdLittle Bird by Germano Zullo; illus. by Albertine  Ages 2+ (Publisher says 5+) Enchanted Lion Books. Mar. 2012. 72 pages.  ISBN:  978-1592701186 $16.95

Why Am I Reviewing this Book?  I was floored by this book.  It was a random new book I checked out from the library.  It is beautiful, elegant, and inspiring.  I love this book so much that I hope many, many other people read it and enjoy it.

The Short:  This book won the 2011 Prix Sorcieres for illustration and was named one of the Best Illustrated Books of 2012 by the New York Times.  Clearly and deservedly so, this book has received critical acclaim for its artwork. For me, the message and the reminder of how important it is for us to discover and cherish the little things is what I found so profound about this picture book.  We highly, highly recommend this book.

The Long:  A man drives a truck out to a cliff, opens the back of the truck and birds fly out.  When the man goes to close the back of the truck he sees one little black bird left.  He shares his sandwich with the bird, teaches him to fly, and then watches as the little black bird flies off.  He gets back into his truck to heads off.  As he is driving, the little black bird comes to him along with all of the other birds.  The birds take him and fly off with him.  The last scene is the man flying with the little black bird sitting on him.  The text mentions nothing about this.  The text is telling its own story about how little things are there to be discovered and that the little things are important and can change the world.

This book is amazing.

It is simple enough that my two-year-old son can follow the story and then tell me what this book is about when I ask him.  The text is also simple and easy to follow.  A beginning reader could easily read this book.  The lesson is also simple (but not necessarily easy):  Little things are precious; little things are life.  All of this gives the book a beautiful and Zen-like quality to it.  The illustrations give a complementary yet concrete example to enrich the text.  Together it creates a beautiful story that I can joyfully read to my son as many times as he desires.  I can see me and my son enjoying and learning from this book during each stage of his life.

Also, I found that this book is remarkable in that you can read it when you are happy and it makes you happier.  You can read this book when you are sad and seeking comfort.  You can read this book or give this book to someone when you don’t know what else to say.  You can read this book most any time and it will enrich your life.  It’s quite the picture book.  I am now searching for everything written by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine.  I can’t wait to read more of their works.

Where Obtained:  Public Library.  Random grab off the shelf.

FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author/Illustrator Websites:  

Some of My Favorite Reviews of this Book:

childrensbookshelfI’m linking this post to The Children’s Bookshelf.  This week she has posted excellent books about empathy and grief.  Check out reviews of all kinds of children’s books at The Children’s Bookshelf hosted at Whatdowedoallday.com.  Also, please contribute if you have a post you would like to share.


  1. Pingback: Top Ten Favorite Picture Books I Read in 2012 | The Picture Book Review

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