Sunday, June 18, 2023

Today's read... Birdie Lights Up the World by Alison McLennan

by Alison McLennan
Illustrated by Lauren Mullinder
EK Books
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8

JUNE 21st!!!

Birdie the penguin believes she is the chosen one who lights up the world every night with her 
song. Her zoo friends believe this too.

In this sensitively illustrated story, featuring a cast of zoo animals, Birdie the penguin has a special 
role to play. Until one day she gets sick and discovers that perhaps her role was not as
important as she thought. She and her friends discover that the world can light itself up at night 
without Birdie’s song. Birdie begins to question what her purpose is. She tries to learn the jobs the 
other animals do, without success. She feels lost and confused — until her zoo friends help her 
realize her true purpose.

The author has said that she wanted to deliver the message that we all have 
special, unique gifts and 
it’s our responsibility to share them with the world. If we have a song to sing, we should sing it, whether it fills a stadium or only brings joy to one person …it all counts.

Parents, grandparents, librarians and teachers will all want to gift or recommend this 
book. It’s for everyone, but especially for any child who has been told they are good at something and then feels the weight of responsibility to take lessons and compete, and 
to be the best. Birdie Lights Up the World will inspire them to do the things they
love for the pure joy of it.



A cute penguin brings more than just a few smiles; it learns an important lesson about talents as well.

Birdie lives in a zoo and is able to make the world light-up every night when she sings. The other animals look forward to her nightly melodies and are thrilled to listen and watch her talent unfold. Until, one night, she realizes that it's not her song which lights up the night. With her purpose in life completely demolished, she tries to figure out what she can do in life.

Penguin fans are going to enjoy this one quite a bit. Birdie is adorable and comes across wonderfully on every page. Her joy and disappointment are clear as she does her best to figure things out. Readers/listeners will have no trouble sympathizing with her and hoping that she finds the solution she's looking for.

The illustrations are vivid and bring Birdie as well as the other animals across clearly and brightly. The usual division found in zoos isn't portrayed in the scenes, but rather, the animals mingle. There is plenty of ice, water and snow surrounding Birdie to create a intriguing contrast to the jungle animals. The friendships come across nicely, and it's fun to flip through the illustrations and visit the various creatures.

The text flows smoothly and makes a nice read-aloud. It brings across the message well and shows how talents can simply be used for enjoyment...and how that can be a blessing in itself. It's a sweet, uplifting read from beginning to end. 

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