Thursday, December 29, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book three hundred and sixty-three

Many of us are conditioned to think that certain people simply aren't friend material. Some people are just too strange, too poor, too rich, too smart, too tall, too short, too different, to be a friend. In reality, one can make friends with just about anyone.

In today's book, you will meet Tom, a cat, who is convinced that birds are good for only one thing. Eating. Cats and birds cannot, in his opinion, be friends. Could it be that Tom is wrong?

Tom's TweetTom’s Tweet
Jill Esbaum
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Random House, 2011, 978-0-375-85171-1
   Tom is a large tomcat who is delighted when he sees a baby bird “flip-flapping” on the grass beneath a tree. Here is a nice tasty “treat” he thinks, as he prepares to eat the little bird. Then Tom observes that the baby bird is far too small and skinny to eat. He is about to walk away, when he also observes that the baby bird is all alone and that it is clearly terrified.
   Despite the fact that he does not want to given in to his softie instincts, Tom tries to put the baby bird back in its nest, but the mother bird attacks him. Tom is forced to retreat with the “tweet” dangling by a tail feather from his mouth.
  Desperate to quiet the baby, who is yelling its head off, Tom makes it a nest (of sorts) and he even feeds it. This latter chore is especially horrific because Tom has to masticate worms for the tweet.
   Eventually, the mama bird flies off and Tom is able to return the tweet to its nest. Tom never imagines that his tweet adventure is not quite over; indeed it is not!
   This is a thoroughly delightful picture book. With its expressive cartoon-style artwork, its rhyming text, and its deliciously funny story, this is a book that children and their grownups will enjoy sharing. The story serves as a celebration of friendship, and it reminds us that even the most unlikely of individuals can become friends. 

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