The Dead Bird

by Margaret Wise Brown and Christian Robinson

“The bird was dead when the children found it.” Indeed, by the time the... read more

“The bird was dead when the children found it.” Indeed, by the time the children find the bird, it’s cold and stiff. “That’s the way animals got when they had been dead for some time … ” The children dig a hole to bury the bird and hold a small funeral for it, “like grown people did when someone died.” Brown’s picture-book text for young children was groundbreaking when it was first published in 1938 for its matter-of-fact treatment of death. It is just as unusual today, nearly 80 years later. Christian Robinson’s contemporary illustrations showing four diverse playmates in a city park makes it even more appealing to 21st-century children, and to grownups who want to talk to young children about what happens when someone dies. (Ages 3–6)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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