Tomie dePaola ~ Simon and Schuster, 1975
Two of my son's favorite books by Tomie are Wuggie Norple and The Knight and the Dragon, but the one closest to his heart is this. The perfect fable for the child who is conservation-minded (and loves birds). Personally, I think these might be my all-time favorite dePaola drawings, but you can judge that for yourself...
Michael Bird-Boy lived in the country.
Every day was the same.
He woke up and washed his face.
He put on his bird suit and ate his breakfast.
Then Michael Bird-Boy did his work.
At night, he sat down and looked at the stars.
And every day was different.
The sky and leaves were always different.
But one day was very different.
A black cloud came across the sky.
Before too long, Michael can no longer see the stars and his precious birds turn dirty, so he heads out in search of the source... thus meeting a factory owner names Boss-Lady who makes "Genuine Shoo-Fly Artificial Honey Syrup... from tons of sugar and artificial honey flavoring." When Michael suggests that instead she just make "real honey", a light goes off, and Michael takes it upon himself to help Boss-Lady make her factory bee-fit.
Sadly, Tomie sure knows how to write a fairy tale. Now, wouldn't it be nice if there were really a mess of Michaels in the world, traveling around helping all the pollution-hunger bosses see the error of their ways? What a wonderful world that would be. Here's hoping.
The Wuggie Norple Story
Pancakes for Breakfast
Oliver Button is a Sissy
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