Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads

The Day I Became a Bird takes a sweet look at first love

became a birdThe Day I Became a Bird, by Ingrid Chabbert/Illustrated by Raúl Nieto Guridi (Sept. 2016, Kids Can Press), $16.95, ISBN: 9781771386210

Recommended for ages 4-8

A little boy experiences love at first sight when he starts school. Sylvia sits right in front of him, but she doesn’t see him. She’s only got eyes for birds: they’re on her pants and dresses, the barrettes in her hair, the doodles on her notebooks and folders. To get her attention, the boy decides to dress up as a bird. His classmates giggle and stare, and he’s not terribly coordinated, but he feels handsome and warm, and it’s all worth it when Sylvia hugs him.

This is a sweet and slightly surreal story about first love and what we’ll do for love. The little boy embraces discomfort and endures the laughter of his classmates for love, and when it pays off, he – and the reader – feel like flying. The black and white pencil and Photoshop art are spare, allowing the words – beautifully translated from the original Spanish – to sink into the reader’s mind and feelings. The book encourages self discovery and the discovery of new ways to reach out and connect with others. This would make a sweet read-aloud, followed with a bird craft (there are so many!) or a discussion about feelings.

Sensitive and sweetly funny, this is a great addition to collections. I hope to see some educator resources from Kids Can Press as the book gets closer to pub date.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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