By Tracy Moore,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Striking, vibrant tale of friendship, bullying, and loss.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn about feeling lonely, making friends, and facing bullies.
Bluebird espouses positive messages about friendship, loneliness, sacrifice, loss, and renewal.
Positive Role Models
Characters are relatably vulnerable and resilient.
Violence & Scariness
The premise involves heavy themes for young readers: feeling lonely, being scorned and bullied by peers, and losing a friend by death.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bluebird is a largely images-only picture book that tells a story of loneliness, isolation, bullying, friendship, and loss. The images are simple, and the themes are at times heavy, but the message is a valuable one about the meaning of friendship.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
A young, lonely boy has trouble making friends with peers. However, one day he meets a bluebird, who brings a dash of light -- and camaraderie -- into his otherwise heavy existence. As he and the bluebird set off to have a few adventures, including making new friends and facing down bullies, he discovers some big lessons about friendships.
Is It Any Good?
BLUEBIRD is a remarkable tale of loneliness and friendship, beautifully rendered in Photoshop with angular, geometric shapes and shadows that convey powerful emotions. It's all the more intriguing because it conveys so much with so few words; aside from a splash of text here or there, nearly all the work requires emotion-reading, and those emotions are no walk in the park: Bluebird deals with heavy themes such as isolation, bullying, and loss, some of which may be upsetting for certain readers.
However, for kids who've faced these issues, this might offer some catharsis and an appreciation for the bigger lessons of friendship. Parents can use this book as an opportunity to discuss bigger issues of bullying, loss, or grief, or simply to check in about school or friendships. Beyond all this, it's simply a great way to delve into the importance of emotional literacy and to discuss how we are able to divine how those around us are feeling.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about loneliness. Have you ever felt lonely? How did it feel? How did you deal with it?
When are kids just being kids, and when is it time to talk to your parents or teachers about how kids are treating you at school? Parents can read more about how to talk about bullying.
Have you ever had any trouble making friends? What happened? What did you do about it?
- Author: Bob Staake
- Illustrator: Bob Staake
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
- Publication date: April 9, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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