PPBF: Oddbird's Chosen Family

Today I'm still on Cloud 9 from yesterday's release of Birdie & Mipps.

It was bittersweet, of course, because it would have been my late brother Mark's 56th birthday; we celebrated by publishing a book that bears his name, to honor his legacy of connection and love. The Friendswood Reporter newspaper ran our storybook's backstory {here}.

 Now on to today's PPBF.

Author/Illustrator: Derek Desierto
Publisher: Felwel & Friends
Birth date: May 28, 2024
Suitable for: ages 2-5
Topics: belonging, family, adoption
Brief synopsis: Oddbird is used to being on his own, 
but could his friend Jerry's family change all of that?

Opening page: It was a beautiful day. 
Oddbird was on his way to visit his friend Jerry.

Resources: Read the Kirkus review {here}.
Learn more about Oddbird {here}.
Find Oddbird activities {here}.

Stop on this page and reflect with your readers:

What else besides alone might Oddbird be feeling? 
How can they tell?
When have they felt like this? 
What was that experience like?
What did they do to help themselves through it?

Why I like this book: Despite all of the brilliant color in this sequel to Oddbird, our little gray bird is still searching for belonging and love. That universal and most basic need begs the question: Aren't we all? Such a bittersweet story of his search to find a family of his own, perfectly illustrated by his facial expression and body language!

And though this treasure targets our youngest readers, I read it to my rising 4th graders, who had SO many questions about this adorable tale. 

Why doesn't Oddbird have a family? 
He has to have parents; where did they go? 
How does he even know when his birthday is?

Could he be a cowbird, whose mom lays her eggs in other birds' nests? If he were a cowbird, wouldn't he be brown? Do we even need words on the page where he's looking at Jerry's family wall? Or does that illustration carry the page? 

They even had suggestions for adding sparkle to the opening sentence. 

My favorite? The beautiful day without a cloud in the sky invited Oddbird to go visit his friend Jerry.  

Love this, because as an author, I share these tips:

Adding sparkle-word descriptors is key to engaging your readers.

So, dear reader, check out Oddbird's Chosen Family, then head to Susanna Hill's blog for today's other PPBF picks as well as for a moment of silence in memory of KitLit author Katey Howes.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!