Thursday, April 8, 2021

"My Red Hat" and "I Am a Bird" for ages 3-7 from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

I Am a Bird by Hope Lim & illustrated by Hyewon Yum (Hardcover ISBN: 9781536208917 - Ages 3-7)

My thoughts:  
This lovely parent/child daily excursion on dad's bicycle to take the young child to "school" (perhaps preschool) speaks to Asian culture where going about one's daily activities is done via bicycle. Signs show an Asian text. People depict slight "Asian" characteristics but are not "stereotyped" nor cartoonish. I like the gentle art done in watercolors that show this loving relationship between parent and child.

Now the story is simple. Daily bicycle ride to school with child behaving in typical young child manner and making bird calls as he spots sea gulls and other birds and he says, "I am a bird." Of course, he isn't but he is play-acting as children do.

A happy scene until he spots a lady in a blue coat and a big purse on the daily ride. He begins to take note that she doesn't smile. She doesn't take notice of him. He says, "I don't like her."

He has noticed a difference. He is happy and she does not appear to be. She doesn't respond to him as she plods along. But at the end he does see her at a distance and she is feeding the birds and making bird calls.

So he sees they are not so different after all.

A lovely peek into the daily joy of being a young child. The discovery of differences. And the realization that we are not so different after all. A sweet book that is well illustrated and has a powerful yet subtle message about differences.

About the book: Every day, a little girl rides to school on the back of her father's bike. As they twist and turn through the streets, the little girl spreads her arms like wings and sings her birdsong for all to hear. But when they pass a strange woman in blue who carries a mysterious bag, the girl goes quiet until the woman is out of sight. One day, when they’re running late, the little girl discovers what the woman does with her bag each morning—a surprise that transforms her wariness into a feeling of kinship to be celebrated. Hope Lim’s simple text and Hyewon Yum’s delicate, expressive illustrations create a touching story that encourages readers to embrace our similarities rather than focus on our differences.

My Red Hat by Rachel Stubbs (Hardcover ISBN: 9781536212716 - Ages 3-7)

My thoughts:  
This is a sweet generational book that shows a loving relationship between a grandchild and grandfather. The red hat symbolizes passing along the possibilities that life can bring and the strengths of pursuit and accomplishment. The red hat is a cover and protection from fear and other of life's onslaughts.

I love the illustrations and bright spots of red in washes of darkness. I like that the pictures show the two engaged in a variety of activities inside and outside. Not simply seated in an overstuffed armchair. 

It shows generational love. It depicts the strength of a "cover" when the mantle is passed generation to generation along with a knowledge of inner strengths to confront life head on. 

It begs the questions, "Do you have a red hat?"

About the book:  A hat can do many things. It can keep you warm and dry. It can help you stand out in a crowd, or it can help you blend in. It can hold your dreams or your secrets, and it can hide your fears. In a debut picture book, Rachel Stubbs pairs winsomely expressive artwork with a gentle meditation on family connection and memory, as a grandfather offers his grandchild the anticipation of a life lived with wonder and openness . . . and a very special hat.

Both books each for 2 winners
Begins April 8
Ends May 1 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
NO P.O.Boxes & Canada phone number required
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate reviews. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner/s by publisher, author, or publicist. Chat With Vera  is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. I volunteer at the Salvation Army .

  2. I try to make my home a calm haven for my family who have to go out and work with the public everyday.

  3. I have this hangup what I do is something I do because my heart says to. But my heart does not feel that I have to say what I did :-)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the "Comment Me" email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.