Review by Booklist Review
The creator of At the Pond (2020) offers another wordless picture book spotlighting avian characters. Here a mother crane perches on her pastel speckled egg, flying off just as a rainstorm approaches. A gust of wind knocks the egg to the ground, and Mom returns distraught. In her search for her missing egg, she comes across an ovoid-shaped object with the same colors, although young readers will note a differing pattern. She rescues and broods what turns out to be a human baby: feeding, cuddling, and arranging playdates with her bird friends, who are themselves raising cats, rabbits, and goldfish. Valério employs collage to great effect here, utilizing vivid solid-color backgrounds (most in shades of blue), stylized shapes, and a clear sense of narrative. Particularly effective are the spreads depicting emotions: the bird sobs, her tears distinguished only by color from the relentless rain; the baby cries, signaled by dashed lines; and the delighted, laughing infant smiles broadly as it eats and interacts with Mom. Perfect for lap sits or story hours, this works on a couple of levels: as a silly tale of a human raised by a bird, but also to reaffirm that loving families come in all shapes and sizes.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Working in crisp collages of cut and painted paper, Valério (At the Pond) creates a wordless origin story. A stork sits on an egg, the picture of contentment. Then, during a rainstorm, the egg falls from the nest. Dark, cut-paper raindrops fall across the page; the stork's white tears fall, too. In flight, the bird spots another, similar egg. It peers hard at it, neck curled all the way to the ground, then carries the prize back to its nest. Soon, the egg hatches: it's a pink human baby. The stork protects the babe, feeds it, shelters it in its big white wings. Neighboring storks fly by, each carrying a youngster of their own--a piglet, a brown-skinned human child, a goldfish in a bowl--before this stork decides that its baby is already home. Valério's memorable artwork and imaginative power give this lighthearted tale extra impact through meticulous spreads that produce a sense of sprightly life and warmth: the stork wields its long scarlet beak and ungainly neck with lifelike sinuousness, and close-ups of its tender care for the infant register as a loving parody of nature documentaries. Ages 3--7. (Aug.)
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Review by Horn Book Review
A stork perches on its nest, protecting its pastel polka-dotted egg, but then flies off, presumably in search of food. While it is gone, wind and rain blow the egg away. The distraught stork searches but, instead of finding its own egg, discovers a different lonely egg, which it promptly brings home to care for. Surprise! The egg is actually a human child, swaddled into an egg-shaped bundle. The delighted stork feeds the baby cherries and, tucking it between its wings, flies off into a sky now filled with other atypical parent-child pairs. A parrot carries a piglet; a toucan carries a rabbit; a pelican carefully balances a goldfish in a bowl on its back. Valerio (At the Pond, rev. 5/20) shows off his skill with design and collage in this wordless story about the many forms a family can take. Early in the book, he uses long, thin strips of paper slicing the page diagonally to create the rainstorm; similar elongated shapes, teardrops this time, fall from the stork's eye, showing its sadness at the loss of the egg. Later spreads, though, feature curved shapes and bright nursery colors that let viewers know all is well with the stork (though it's unclear what happened to its original egg). The tale ends with the human baby safe in the stork's nest, tucked under its adoptive parent's wing -- a warmhearted ending to set the book's audience up for a good night's sleep. Maeve Visser Knoth September/October 2020 p.78(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A crane's search for a missing egg is unsuccessful--or is it? In the opening scene, Valério's signature cut-paper collage features a nest built of strips of different shades of brown, textured paper. Filling a double-page spread, the thin rectangles encircle the crane's red legs, which, in turn, frame a pink, polka-dot oval. The wordless story continues with the bird flying away just as a storm rolls in, the egg eventually spilling into the moving water below. A tearful quest does not yield the original specimen, but the parent finds another egg-shaped bundle and scoops it up with care. Back at the nest, a rosy-faced human baby emerges from the swaddling. Cherries and rocking lead to smiles, and when the graceful creature soars into the sky, child in tow, it joins a flock of other types of birds: One bears a pig, another totes a goldfish bowl. Still others carry children created from brown paper. They all thrill to acrobatics until evening descends and cuddling begins. This cheerful portrait of adoptive families is not weighed down with any pedantry. It simply shows that nurturing hearts expand with love when presented with opportunity. The artist's bold palette, striking patterns, and humorous poses will provoke commentary about colors, shapes, and design as well. Valério's visual storytelling will excite the eyes and warm the hearts of viewers young and old. (Picture book. 2-6) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.