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Ten Birds

by Cybčle Young

Published by Kids Can Press, 2011
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-55453-568-2

Ages 4-9

A visually striking black-and-white book showcases counting backwards, problem-solving, and thinking outside the box. It begins with ten birds on one side of a bridge trying to figure out how to get to the other side (and no, using their wings never occurs to them). The first nine birds each comes up with a technical solution: a parasail, a wheel-and-pulley, mechanical wings, a catapult, etc. As each bird crosses the bridge, the number of birds remaining is highlighted in a narrative that also identifies the bird by its given name: “The one they called ‘Brilliant’ knew how to cross. Marching [on stilts] he left nine behind.” Finally, there is only one bird left. His name is “Needs Improvement.” And his solution is elegantly simple: he simply walks across the bridge. The intricate black pen-and-ink illustrations manage to be both serious and playful in this oversized picture book that not only affirms there are many different ways to arrive at a single destination but also illuminates the shortcomings of labels when it comes to identifying ability or potential. (MS) ©2011 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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