Ten Birds

by Cybèle Young

A visually striking black-and-white book showcases counting backwards, problem-solving,... read more

A visually striking black-and-white book showcases counting backwards, problem-solving, and thinking outside the box. Ten birds are trying to cross a river (and no, using their wings never occurs to them). The first nine birds each come up with a technical solution: a parasail, a wheel-and-pulley, mechanical wings, a catapult, and more. As each bird gets to the other side, the number of birds still waiting to go is highlighted in a narrative that also identifies the bird by its given name: “The one they called 'Brilliant’ knew how to cross. Marching [on stilts] he left nine behind.” Finally, there is only one bird left. His name is “Needs Improvement.” And his solution is elegantly simple: He simply walks across the bridge that all the others have ignored. The intricate black pen-and-ink illustrations manage to be both serious and playful in this oversize picture book that not only affirms there are many different ways to arrive at a single destination but also illuminates the shortcomings of labels when it comes to identifying ability or potential. (Ages 4–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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