The Picture Book Buzz

Lovebird Lou - Perfect Picture Book Friday#PPBF

Let's kick off this brand new, shiny year with a fabulous book about learning to accept yourself and celebrating and supporting family and community members for their individuality and specialness. This is such a humorous, sweet, and touching picture book about a creative and endearing little lovebird.


Lovebird Lou


Author: Tammi Sauer


Illustrator: Stephanie Laberis


Publisher: Sterling Children's Books (2022)


Ages: 3-8


Fiction


Themes:

Being true to yourself, family, community, acceptance, and diversity.


Synopsis:

A sweet, love-infused celebration of individuality and acceptance!


Lovebird Lou adores life with his family and friends on the island they call home. But when he travels to the other side of the island and sees the amazing abilities on display by different birds, Lou feels unfulfilled with the laidback lovebird lifestyle. With his adoring parents cheering him on, Lou decides to spread his wings and see what else he can accomplish. This sweet, funny story celebrates individuality, self-discovery, and the joy of community.


Opening Lines:

Lou came from a long line of lovebirds.

Lovebirds were all Lou knew . .


. . . until his flock visited the other side of the island.


What I LOVED about this book:

Poor little Lovebird Lou, he's struck by a massive case of envy when he first witnesses the amazing flying skills of pelicans, the grace of flamingos, and the beautiful singing of the nightingales. Suddenly, lovebirds seemed so ordinary. Who hasn't wished for "different" hair (curlier, straighter...), height, etc? Tammi Sauer and Stephanie Laberis do a wonderfully job capturing this universal feeling in a really kid-friendly and humorous manner.


Fortunately, Lou has loving parents. Who, while encouraging Lou's experiments in being "another" bird with sweet comments - "Okay cupcake" and “Sure thing, sugar cookie,” when things go awry (as they are bound to do when you try to be something you're not) they are there to catch him - literally.

Text © Tammi Sauer, 2022. Image © Stephanie Laberis, 2022.


It's also sweet that the flock's refrain throughout Lou's adventures remains "We love you, Lou." Speaking of refrains, Tammi uses a great one that invites the page turn each time Lou attempts to be like another bird - "All was well until..." This is a great mentor text for concise text that leaves room for the illustrator and the reader to participate in creating Lou's story.


When he fails at being a pelican, a flamingo, and a nightingale, Lou decides to be a rock. I love the absolute acceptance demonstrated by his parents and their willingness to allow him to make mistakes. All the while providing love and a safety net from serious injury. Stephanie's colorful, bright illustrations are so expressive and full of fun extra nuggets - like this "#1 Rock" sign!

Text © Tammi Sauer, 2022. Image © Stephanie Laberis, 2022.


Overall, this is a touching, humorous book on accepting ourselves (and others) for who we are. A subtle acknowledgment that the uniqueness of members within communities (our own, nationally, internationally, and throughout all of nature) is what makes our world such a rich and rewarding place to live. A delightful book for kids heading off to new levels of school or their first adventure away from their known experiences. It is also a wonderful book for Valentine's Day. One that I think kids will fall in love with.


Resources:

- make your own flock of lovebirds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHG8pEopFMU&ab_channel=KayisCrafts).

- have you ever wished you could change something about yourself? Do you other people feel that way too?

- if you've ever wished to be someone else (real or imaginary), why? What made you want to be like them? List, or draw, what do you like best about them? Now, do the same for what do you like best about yourself?

- take a moment to tell someone what you like about them.


If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's interview with Tammi Sauer (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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