Title: Baby & The Red Bird
Author: Soumyashree Rai
Illustrator: Shivani Bane
Type: Board Book
Age group: 2+ years (author recommendation is 0 – 3 years)
I am beyond excited and grateful to KBC for giving me the opportunity to review a book, while we have come to visit our family and friends in India (heard of this gesture in a community anywhere else?!) and you, Asha dearest, are incredible in knowing the kind of books that suite a reader the best!
Quickly coming to this FANTASTIC and a MUST HAVE book, I was so moved by the story and just the simplicity and yet the impact that a book like this has, in its writing.
As I and my girls sat down to read the book, my younger child, Nivedha who is 2, sprang up with joy seeing the red bird. It was so astonishing to see her express the scenes, she would say ‘baby’ and ‘red bird’ and ‘friends’ and that is the power of a well written and well-illustrated book for toddlers.
This book talks about the innocence in the mutual admiration and the beginning of a relationship between a baby and a bird. It’s so heartfelt to see how this bond is acknowledged and more so admired in a respectful way by the parents. There is an outpour of emotions of love and fondness in that what two species experience, without knowing the language of each other and yet understanding the unspoken.
I could co-relate to this book at so many different levels. In the last one month that we spent at my parents’ place, we went to the play area every evening. I, the adult, was unsure and yet curious of how Nirvana might interact with kids as she understands neither Hindi nor Bengali (the local language) and of course there weren’t kids around who could speak Tamil (the mother tongue). And yet, she played so well with the kids, made a good friend. Language as we call it, wasn’t a barrier for the two children. Both were excited to meet each other on evenings and played together, without a word that the other understood but with feelings that were mutual.
The very next experience has been since the time we are here at my brother’s place. N&N have never been around pets yet, whilst I and my brother have been animal lovers since a very young age. So on one hand while the kids did not know how to be around a pet, especially a dog like a German Shephard, time has helped both ‘Logan’ and Nirvana find their place of mutual respect and love. Nivedha still needs time to embrace him fully but she does express her admiration and wants to play with him. Hopefully the 3 will find their bond and N&N could enjoy the company of their very first friend from a different species.
This book is definitely one of those that has been read and re-read many many times in just hours and I believe 2 big reasons being the big, bright and beautiful illustrations and the message that the book comes with, which is so vital, where friendship is not limited to ones with the same species. It’s also interesting that the reader has an insight into the feelings of both the baby and the red bird as to how each of them are willing to befriend one another.
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