Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bird of Time

The Bird of Time
Jane Yolen ~ Mercer Mayer
Thomas Y. Crowell, 1971

When I hear about a book I might like to have, the first place I look is the library. If the library has it, I'll spin it around the block a few times and if it's a must-have, I'll either wait to find it by chance or buy it online. So when Chandra mentioned a Mercer Mayer I'd never seen before, I immediately hit the online catalog at our library looking for it. Unfortunately, it's quite a collectible and Herbert the Timid Dragon is long gone from the shelves, but I did see one in the listings I'd never seen before. (Oh, what would I do without online card catalog searches!?!) And it's about a bird!

Written by Jane Yolen, it's the folk tale of a young dreamer named Pieter who leaves his home to seek his fortune and, ultimately, impress his father, the simple miller.

He had traveled only two days and three nights into the wide, wide world when he heard a weak cry. It sounded like a call for help. Immediately, and without a thought for his own safety, Pieter rushed in the direction of the sound and found a tiny brown bird caught in a trap. He opened the trap and set the bird free. But the bird was so weak from lack of water and food that it only had time for a few faint chirps before it folded its tired wings and died.

Thankfully, Pieter could speak the language of the birds and in those short chirps, the bird told of a magical egg that contained a bird that could make time speed up or slow down or stop completely. Adventure ensues. There's a princess, a giant, a wedding and an impressed father all wrapped up nicely with a secret kept. The tempera paintings are gorgeous, as would be expected, and the tale exciting yet romantic at the same time. Here's hoping this one finds me on the thrift shop shelves sometime in the near future. I'm behind on my mortgage because of all the books I've shopped for Christmas already!

Also by:
Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
One Monster After Another
Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo
Me and My Flying Machine
Beauty and the Beast
A Special Trick
Bubble Bubble
One Frog Too Many
How the Trollusk Got His Hat
Little Monster at Work


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!


You Can Call Me Jane said...

Those illustrations are gorgeous. Here's to hoping you find two copies, so you can give one away:-).

Chandra said...

Wow! What a find! Jane Yolen and Mercer Mayer! I'm sad you couldn't find Herbert (dang him for being so elusive!), but it looks like you found something great anyway!

stephanie said...

Eliza Lou found me last week - love it! Do you have Mayer's "Everyone Knows What A Dragon Looks Like" by Jay Williams? Another to look for if you don't....

Anonymous said...

what a gorgeous book!

Becky said...

Looks like a great book, and wonderful illustrations! Great illustrations are what I look at most when it comes to kids books. Speaking of great illustrations, There is a really cute kids Christmas book newly out titled, "Santa & The Little Teddy Bear" by Peter John Luckingare. This book really grabbed me with its illustrations and vibrant luminescent color conveying a sense of the magic of place. Oh my kids loved it too! LOL!

Antmusic said...

Excellent book. ;)

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