Article Title

The Dead Bird


Carlie Smith


Excellent, Toddler, Preschool, Margaret Wise Brown, Death, Funeral, Birds, Park, Children, Picture Book

Document Type

Book Review


Children learn to love and mourn a dead bird they find at the park. They are glad that they can give it a funeral. They lovingly plant flowers and compose a song. They remain dedicated to tending the grave until they forget. This deceptively simple book is another powerful story from the author of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown. The repetition of the phrases, and sometimes illogical sentences capture the experience, reasoning, and feelings of young children. The kids in the story mimic with characteristic simplicity and sincerity the patterns of mourning that they’ve seen grown ups do. This edition of the book has been released with new illustrations. Robinson reinforces the childlike perspective with figures with forms that look as though kids have drawn them. The textures are expertly drawn with rich details. Parents may consider using this as a way to help children understand death and mourning.