The Stone Bird

The Stone Bird
Jenny McCartney and Patrick Benson
Andersen Press

Here’s a magical tale full of wonder and the power of the imagination.
It begins one hot summer’s day when Eliza discovers a smooth, egg-shaped stone in the sand and knows it’s something special. “It’s a heavy egg,” she tells her sceptical mother.
At bedtime the child places her treasure beside her on the bedside table and later is woken by a cracking sound: a transformation has occurred.

Eliza takes her stone bird everywhere until autumn comes and with it school: Eliza’s bird remains on her bedside table.
Another object – a small grey oval stone appears beside it one morning.
Winter comes bringing frost. Eliza nestles her treasures in a pair of socks.

By spring she’s almost given up waiting but then something extraordinary happens: there are two stone birds in that nest, one big, one tiny.
Then one day, Eliza’s mother opens the bedroom window and that night Eliza’s dream is the sound of beating wings …

Next morning the nest is empty: will Eliza ever see her precious birds again?
A book that celebrates a child’s imagination is one to cheer. I’d hate to think the little girl’s imagination is dampened as she goes through school: perhaps though, the soaring birds on the penultimate spread are symbolic of her imaginative spirit spreading its wings.

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