Written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura ( Anderson Press)
0-3, 4-6 and 7-9
We took this book out the library and Joe, 8, loved the simple story of a bird who for the life of him cannot sing. When he does open his beak the other birds hold their ears and even his teacher, Mother Goose, gives up, telling him “I have done all I can. I’m sorry. I have failed.” There’s no great solution to his dilemma – just finding a friend who loves his voice and who – you suspect – sounds just as bad as he does! It’s a wonderful little story about wanting to be able to do something you’re just not good at and finding that it’s OK. Poignant and true.
Satoshi is a renowned Japanese author and illustrator who has written over 20 books. An untrained artist, he was rejected countless times until his breakthrough work, Angry Arthur, in 1981. Since then he has made a name for himself with his unusual comic book style, beautiful watercolors and quirky attention to detail and characterization. Look out for his trademark Japanese water pen which gives a distinctive black line with little blobs at intervals adding to the comic book feel. He anthropomorphises many animals, particularly cats and his attention to their small little whims and idiosyncrasies are wonderfully engaging.