4 out of 4 stars
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When a little boy named Wade receives a surprise visit from a backyard bird, he is taken on an unforgettable flight through the skies above his town. He must first undergo a size adjustment, so as his stature shrinks, he becomes miniaturized enough to fit on the shoulders of the aforementioned bird. The two seem to share a telepathic connection of calm understanding, and Wade’s fear of potentially falling quickly subsides. As he begins to absorb and interpret things from an aerial perspective, he uses his newfound “bird’s-eye view” to make some enlightened observations about different people and their displayed levels of happiness. Children and elementary schools seem to radiate rainbow-colored auras, while the adults, factories, and office buildings seem grimly dim in comparison.
He has always treasured a keepsake rock from his father, a rock that reminds him to carry daily GRATITUDE. Once he pairs that special stone with a feathered memento from his new avian friend, he experiences a moment of clarity that bestows upon him a special knowledge worth sharing. He remains driven by dreams of world travel, but his truest purpose in life becomes clear. The Bird Ride by Wade W. Bergner is a children’s book about a soaring quest of spiritual enlightenment. Deep breathing, mindfulness, unconditional love, and conscious awareness all come into play as the story unfolds.
The story is 21 pages long and includes 9 full-page, colored illustrations. The text is sufficiently complemented by the accompanying depictions, and since I read and reviewed a hardcover copy of this book, I can also say that the cover art and illustrations by Galia Labowitz are visually captivating in print form. I only encountered a handful of grammatical and typographical errors while reading, and since they did not affect my overall enjoyment of the book, there was nothing I notably disliked about the story.
I really enjoyed seeing a surprise section of Discussion Questions at the end, and they presented some very thought-provoking queries. As a former psychiatrist, I can say that emotional development in children is a critically important aspect of strong mental health. By prompting kids to self-reflect, adults often become privy to certain mindsets and thought patterns that they were previously unaware of. Asking kids what makes them sad will potentially reveal further topics worth exploring. There is also a final section that includes A Note to Parents and Teachers. It touches on the deleterious effects of fear, failure, and fierce competition among peers.
I think this book would be most appropriate for children between the ages of five and eight, especially those who have caretakers or parents with transcendentalist tendencies. Having an adult reader present would really help younger readers solidify some of the deeper meanings of the material. This title does have a lesson of self-actualization at its core. The main character’s nickname is “Kid Rock,” and I do believe that young minds would be able to appreciate the fanciful mysticism of such a high-flying tale! It reminded me of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie franchise that I loved so much as a child.
I can gladly award The Bird Ride a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The plot is straightforward, the text is engaging, and the ending provides an adequate conclusion. It is the first book in Bergner’s Emotional Agility Matters series, and I feel that it possesses the potential to uplift spirits and open minds. It instills a sense of purposeful awareness, while also promoting the benefits of a positive attitude and strong self-worth.
The Bird Ride
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