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A Bird About to Sing

by Laura Nyman Montenegro

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2003
32 pages
ISBN: 0-618-18865-7

Ages 5 - 8

Young Natalie is a self-proclaimed poet who is confident of her writing but can't imagine reading any of her poems out loud. When her poetry teacher, red-beret-clad Monica, invites Natalie to share her work at a reading, Natalie bravely makes an attempt. But she just can't do it. "I feel like a bird who's lost its voice, and like a bird I wish to fly far, far away to the top of the tallest tree." The young girl's devastation is palpable. But on the bus ride home, she is inspired. "Everything I see suggests a poem...I feel like a bird about to sing. 'Can I read my poem to you?' I whisper to Monica." Brown-skinned Natalie's triumph on the Number 27 bus is witnessed by fellow poets-in-transit, marking a joyous moment as a young writer finds the courage to share her voice. Laura Nyman Montenegro's engaging first-person narrative and inspired gouache illustrations are a celebration of the creative spirit. CCBC categories: Picture Books for School-Aged Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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