Monday, November 2, 2015

Azizi and the Little Blue Bird by Laila Koubaa and Mattias De Leeuw (Book Island)

What is the significance of the little blue bird in this tale? Dive into this amazing story to find out in "Azizi and the Little Blue Bird"...
Children's picture books have become a vital conduit for hugely important messages with colossal social impact and it's testament to the power of words and pictures that children can find these stories accessible and meaningful, and reflective of the world around them.

At first glance, "Azizi and the Little Blue Bird" might seem like a fairly straightforward tale of good vs evil but tucked into the pages is an allegorical message of hope.

In Azizi's land, two tyrannical despots rule with a rod of iron. They are unkind and unfair, and make ridiculous demands on their people. Folk have to hang images of the obnoxious pair on their walls, and they make constant demands on the kingdom, craving the finest foods, the most glittering jewels and all under an umbrella of silence.

Even the blue birds must be captured and silenced, and under no circumstances allowed to fly free.

Azizi and his family don't like the ruling despots but live life in quiet servitude. Until one day one tiny blue bird escapes, and puts into action a plan to change things for the better.

With Azizi's help, the little blue bird hatches a plan to subvert and undermine the tyrannical rule, to overthrow the despots and free not only his bird friends but the whole kingdom.

Those of you who (like us) use Twitter won't miss the reference to the little blue bird here. Twitter (and other forms of social media) are often hugely important methods of communication in countries where democracy is faltering or has failed entirely. Without missing a beat, the symbolism of the little blue bird in this story directly links to the way people in democratically unstable countries will use social media to spread messages of hope or to alert the rest of the world to their plight (and of course the way rulers of those countries will try to cut off this vital line of communication wherever possible).

A subtly produced piece of work that whispers a very important message to its young readers. Don't miss it.

Charlotte's favourite bit: The bird's bid for freedom and Azizi's brilliant plan to free his country.

Daddy's favourite bit: A clever piece of allegorical storytelling that may well whizz over the heads of your little ones, but with some gentle explanation will sink in and become a book that promotes debate and discussion ever after.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Book Island)

"Azizi and the Little Blue Bird"

Written by Laila Koubaa

Illustrated by Mattias De Leeuw

Published by Book Island

Release Date (Hardback): 1st November 2015

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