Bluebird

Common Sense Media says

Striking, vibrant tale of friendship, bullying, and loss.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn about feeling lonely, making friends, and facing bullies.

Positive messages

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. 

Language
Not applicable

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.

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Book details

Author:Bob Staake
Illustrator:Bob Staake
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Schwartz & Wade
Publication date:April 9, 2013
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:6 - 8
Read alone:6 - 7
Available on:Hardback, Kindle, Nook, Paperback

This review of Bluebird was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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