Title: There Is a Bird on Your Head
Author: Mo Willems
Illustrator: Mo Willems
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children, 2007
Rating: 2/5 stars
- Theodore Seuss Geisel Award, 2008
- 2008 ALA Notable Children’s Books
In this third book of the Elephant and Piggie series, Mo Willems draws lovable characters, and it is easy to see why this series has become a beloved favorite of children all across the country. The emotions of the characters are displayed more in the drawings than the words, making it easy for my seven year old to emphatically read the story to me, not missing the frustration, anger, excitement and more of each page. Although the story is somewhat comical and endearing, the plot is lacking development with no specific setting and little use of literary figures of speech. Much can be done with few words, and here Mo Willems does not live up to his remarkable reputation. The simple drawings match the simple story, boosting the confidence of a very early reader. The plot even includes a subtle message of, “there’s no harm in asking.” However any reader other than a beginner might feel robbed of a deeper, more developed story, even a story of few words. Standing apart from the series, this book has less to offer than it does with the accompanying books at its side.
Professional Review Excerpt: “Willems’ balanced design of color-coordinated speech bubbles, expressive cartoon art and familiar vocabulary create an engaging, laugh-out-loud experience for young readers. The charming characters, whimsical tone and accessible language come together in this fresh and memorable celebration of friendship.”
Willems, Mo. There Is a Bird on Your Head! New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children, 2007.
Morales, Macey and Jennifer Petersen. “Mo Willems wins Geisel Award for ‘There Is a Bird on Your Head!'” American Library Association. (14 January 2008). http://www.ala.org/news/news/pressreleases2008/january2008/geisel08.
Association for Library Service to Children. “2008 Notable Children’s Books.” http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb/ncbpastlists/2008ncblist.