Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Stone Bird by Jenny McCartney and Patrick Benson (Andersen Children's Books)

This is a story that sang out to us with the sweetest voice possible with such an inspired and original idea...
Jenny McCartney's "The Stone Bird" with gorgeous atmospheric art by Patrick (Owl Babies) Benson is like a breath of fresh sea air.

Both my daughter and I love roaming the beach, picking up interesting looking stones and shells just like the little girl in this story.

Eliza finds a very special stone, it looks so much like a tiny speckled egg that she takes it home with her, keeps it warm - and lo and behold it indeed hatches into a tiny little chick. A stone chick at that.

Eliza's new friend soon grows (we did wonder what a stone bird would eat!) but all too soon she lays a little stone egg of her own, and along with her own baby she wants to fly free and Eliza has no choice but to bid her a tearful farewell.

The story beautifully delves into the rich imagination of a child, telling the story from Eliza's perspective but with lots of nods to 'grown ups' who don't always understand their child's games, but will always be there to offer a cuddle and a shoulder to cry on.

It's a really wonderful book this, we both really enjoyed how original it felt, how fresh and most of all how perfectly it summed up what it's like to realise that sometimes the best way to show love for something is to set it free.

C's best bit: When the bird and her chick come back for one last visit and leave something special behind.

Daddy's favourite bit: That rare thing, a book that instantly feels timeless, like it's been here forever, but never feels tiresome in the retelling or re-reading. Lovely.

(Kindly supplied for review)

"The Stone Bird" by Jenny McCartney and Patrick Benson is out now, published by Andersen Children's Books.