Amanda Addison, illus. Manuela Adreani
Age 5-7 years
One Autumn day a small bird embarks on a long journey, over land and sea, crossing a desert where she rests in an oasis and meets a young girl called Leila who offers her a welcome drink. Bird’s journey continues to her summer home. On her return journey, Bird cannot find Leila, she is gone. We find out Leila has embarked on a long journey of her own. This is a story of a dual migration, of a swallow and a young girl, possibly a refugee. Their journeys mirror each other and weave together.
A beautifully illustrated story suggesting the wonder of bird migration which draws parallels with the movement of humans. It suggests the importance of offering help to those in need.
Watch the story read aloud by its author, Andrea Addison.
Before beginning to read the story to your child look at the cover and end papers together, follow the flights of Bird with your fingers and talk about what the title might mean. Pause after the first page of text to think about how amazing it is that a bird might flying half way around the world.
Read the story aloud to your child to find out what happens and talk about it together. Read it again more slowly a second time so that you can really look closely at the detailed illustrations together.
If you make a bird puppet (see below) your child could hold it and let it fly from page to page as you read. Your child could take the part of Leila and Alfie saying their words as they welcome Bird or say goodbye.
Some pages read like a poem and you could choose a page or two to read together.
Talk about the story
The illustrations are beautiful, share your favourite pages, looking closely at the details
Talk about anything your child finds puzzling eg unfamiliar words such as ‘boundless’ and ‘oasis’, why birds fly south in the summer or why Leila may have left her home.
Do you know anyone who has left their home country and migrated to the UK? Talk about what it must feel like to arrive somewhere far from your home.
This might lead to a discussion about refugees, look for the illustration of the boat in the stormy sea full of people, is this what happened to Leila?