A lion wearing overalls is tending to his garden when an injured bird falls from the sky. The bird’s flock continues on without him, and Lion places Bird in his mane and welcomes Bird into his home. Snow falls, “But winter doesn’t feel all that cold with a friend.”
A crocus peaks through a white-washed spread heralding spring’s entrance. With spring, comes Bird’s flock. Sad, but empathetic, Lion understands that Bird must join them. “And so it goes. Sometimes life is like that.” Lion spends a quiet summer alone and when autumn returns, he wonders if Bird will too. A single note pierces a white-washed spread. It is Bird announcing his arrival. “Together, we’ll stay warm again this winter,” Lion says with Bird nestled in his mane.
Carefully selected prose and evocative illustrations create a measured rhythm that guides readers through the seasons of a friendship.
What is most remarkable about this lovely book is the balance of and relationship between words and pictures. The words are few, and yet the book is twice the length of a traditional picture book. In an interview on the blog Picturebook Makers, Marianne Dubuc speaks of how “the silences that come throughout the story leave space for the readers’ emotions and interpretations.” She also speaks about how growing up as an only child, her family and friends were extremely important to her and how, over time, she’s grown apart from many of them. This book is about “letting go of the ones you love, and having faith in life’s way of sending them back your way some day.” (It is an interview worth reading and a recommended blog.)