Bird Hugs (Ged Adamson)

Hello, friends! The Baby Bookworm household has been down with another bug, so we’re happy to be back today with a review of the lovely Bird Hugs by Ged Adamson.

Bernard is different from the other birds. When he was a baby, he didn’t realize it; he just enjoyed playing with his friends on the ground and in the trees. When his friends began to fly, however, it became clear: Bernard’s extra-long wings – both of them many times the size of his small, round body – make flight impossible. Watching as his friends frolic through the sky, Bernard wallows in disappointment, particularly after a series of failed attempts to circumvent his impairment. But one day, he hears someone crying: an orangutan who feels inexplicable sorrow. Sympathizing, Bernard wraps his extra-long wings around his new ape friend, and is surprised to find that not only does the orangutan feel better… so does he.

Loved this. Much like one of our recent favorites, All The Ways To Be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys, this sweet story illustrates that talent and ability come in many forms, and celebrates the value of empathy and emotional aptitude. Bernard comes to find that there are many animals in need of emotional support, and both his hugs AND his talent for listening are of immense help. This earns him a jungle full of new friends, including a few who adorably help him in return in the final spread. This focus on how being different is often a strength in and of itself is a wonderfully welcome and heartwarming message, bolstered by Adamson’s adorable, emotional illustrations and clever yet tender text. The length is perfect, and JJ and I both adored it. A warm hug of a tale, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Ava And The Rainbow (Who Stayed) (Ged Adamson)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Ava And The Rainbow (Who Stayed) by Ged Adamson, the story of a little girl and a very colorful friend.

After the rain, Ava runs to the hill; she is hoping to see a rainbow. And indeed, one is there – the most beautiful rainbow Ava’s ever seen. Returning home, she wishes that the rainbow could stay, and dreams all night that it could. When she wakes the next morning, she finds her dream has come true: the rainbow is still there, day and night, sunshine and rain. The town is sent into a tizzy, with visitors coming from far and wide, souvenirs being sold in shops, and events taking place under the rainbow’s arch. But as time goes by, the rainbow becomes commonplace, ignored and even disrespected by everyone but Ava. It decides that perhaps it is time to leave, and Ava is broken-hearted. But when the rain comes again, her friend is back, and she welcomes it with the songs and stories they shared from that very first day.

I confess, I didn’t quite understand the message of this one the first time around. After some thought, however, my interpretation is that it’s a comment on the fickle nature of popularity – the rainbow is honored and beloved when it’s a novelty, then quickly dropped as people’s attention moves on. Except of course for Ava, the rainbow’s one true friend – she understands when it is ready to do what’s right for itself, and is there for it when it comes back, the only person who shows genuine concern and support. And this is a wonderful lesson for little ones – friends are the ones who stay long after the fairweather followers have left. The cartoonish art is joyful, wry and colorful, and an absolute delight. The length is great, and JJ loved it. A subtle but powerful lesson in modern friendship, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Douglas, You Need Glasses! (Ged Adamson)

Hello! Today, we read Douglas, You Need Glasses! by Ged Adamson, an adorably awesome book about getting your first pair of glasses.

Douglas loves to play with his human, Nancy, but he has a bit of a problem: he is nearsighted. Sometimes, when he thinks he’s chasing a squirrel, he’s actually chasing a leaf. Sometimes he can’t read important signs, and steps in wet concrete. Sometimes, he even goes to the wrong house! So Nancy takes Douglas to the eye doctor, and they find that he needs glasses. Once he picks a pair that he likes, he finds that life with good vision is twice as sweet!

This book was so great! Illustrations were adorable and funny, the text was fun to read, and the length was perfect for baby bookworms. I especially loved the subject matter, though: I have a degenerative eye disorder, and have had to wear corrective lenses or contacts for most of my life, and we know that the same may be so of JJ as she gets older. It’s great to know that if, down the road, she needs glasses like I did, this book can make the process less scary and more fun! Love this book, and we highly recommend it! Baby Bookworm approved!