4 out of 4 stars
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Emmi is a bluebird with a rare trait. She was hatched with one wing shorter than the other. While this makes her different from all of the other birds, she doesn’t allow her shorter wing to hinder her in any way. In her book, Little Bluebird, Erin Murphy Welch showcases all of the ways that Emmi, although dissimilar, is perfect just the way she is.
The lesson of this book has far-reaching effects. It teaches children that there is never a reason to treat someone adversely simply because they are not the same as you. Some children have to try a little harder than others, and this should be applauded, not belittled. Unfortunately, these days it may also be a good idea for some adults to take heed of this little lesson.
The illustrations take up most of Little Bluebird, and they are delightful. Set in a square format as opposed to the usual rectangular book layout, the illustrations cover every page from corner to corner. There is one simple line of text on most of the pages that covers the narrative of the story. So, while the actual story itself is short, I think it’s great that the illustrations show a diverse collection of characters. As the title suggests, Emmi is a bluebird, but her friends are black and orange and pink and green. There are some tall birds and some little ones. There is a blind bird and another in a wheelchair. As far as diversity is concerned, the author has covered her bases. This is so important in a children’s book.
Because the book itself is so short and to the point, it’s easy to read as a bedtime story for younger kids. I would recommend it for the 3 – 6 age bracket or to keep in a classroom for beginner readers. There really is not much to dislike about this book and I happily rate it 4 out of 4 stars. Aside from a few unnecessarily capitalised words, the editing is also great.
It’s never too early to start teaching children about acceptance and diversity. In its simple form, Little Bluebird teaches one of the most vital values in life. Everyone is unique and exceptional in their own way and should get the support they deserve in order to be great.
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