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The Mountain That Loved a Bird
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The Mountain That Loved a Bird

4.58  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Eric Carle's signature collages illustrate this vibrant original fable. A mountain standing alone in the middle of a desert plain asks a small bird named Joy to stay when she stops to rest. Joy promises that she and her descendants will return each spring, and over time, they transform the mountain into the perfect home.
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published August 20th 1991 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (first published January 1st 1985)
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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryMrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
Gifted Young Readers
122nd out of 251 books — 39 voters
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric CarleThe Greedy Python by Richard Buckley
Best of Eric Carle
6th out of 100 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 463)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Beautiful story about a barren, lonely mountain who is visited by a bird once a year. The story explains how, over time, a bare mountain becomes seeded with plant life and then animal life. This story would be a nice intro to a study of Mount St. Helens, which was devoid of life after the 1980 eruption, or the island of Surtsey, which rose as a volcano and then became an island, devoid of life. Both Mt. St. Helens and Surtsey now have life, which arrived just as this story described. Lovely book ...more
While not specifically pagan, I found the book with its profound message and natural landscape to be a perfect addition to my son's spiritual library. On the surface, it is the story of a bird whose yearly visits cheer a lonely, lifeless rock of a mountain and the slow and subtle changes that allow that mountain to become a suitable home and haven for more than just that bird.

Underneath, however, are powerful lessons of love and hope, determination and stamina, friendship and charity.

I think t
Sep 09, 2015 Ian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, juvenile
Quite possibly one of the most beautiful and touching children's stories I have ever read. Like Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince", this is a simple story that can be appreciated by both children and adults. It has the atmosphere of a folk tale, and children will love the repetition. It can also be read metaphorically as a tale of death, friendship, love, and rebirth. If the story isn't enough, there are the lovely illustrations by the incomparable Eric Carle that perfectly complemen ...more
Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
Jul 19, 2016 Sarah (Books Before Bandaids) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The Mountain that Loved a Bird is beautiful in every way from the illustrations done by Eric Carle, to the poignant text from Alice McLerran. Told from the perspective of the mountain it is a book with a profound message of love, friendship and charity. A lonely, barren desert mountain meets and befriends Joy, a bird on her yearly migration. He expresses interest in her and she agrees to come back every year, although she reminds him that birds do not live forever, so she will name her daughter ...more
Lisa Vegan
Apr 24, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Ok, It’s a good thing I read this by myself first, and that there were no kids around, because I was teary eyed all the way through it.

The story is very lovely, and it’s interesting for adults as well as for beginning readers. The illustrations by Eric Carle seemed more sophisticated than most in other children’s books; I really liked them a lot.
Rena Sherwood
My favorite book.

"You say in love, there are no rules
Sweetheart, you're so cruel" - U2

My Mom told me that I taught myself to read when I was four years old. That means I have been an avid reader for over thirty years. I hesitate to think how many books I've read, both fiction and non-fiction. I have read far more stinkers than winners. But my absolute favorite book is "The Mountain That Loved a Bird" (Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing; 1986) by Alice McLerran and illustrated by Eric Carl
Nov 06, 2013 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
This gentle, beautiful book touches my heart and very soul. It is a story of caring and love between two very different types of characters. One is a stunning little bird and the other a barren, very lonely mountain that wants the bird to stay and take up residence there.

" I am Joy, and I have come to greet you." She stops by one day to visit the mountain and she explains that she is looking to build a nest and establish a home for her baby birds. The mountain does not have water or trees and al
Kelli Ryne
Jun 29, 2010 Kelli Ryne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This book is a beautiful narrative about two things that seem at first to be completely incompatible. It's told in the traditional "folktale" fashion and explains how things came to be the way they are. That being said, it also teaches the need for sacrifice, cooperation and understanding. I would use this when teaching folktales, as I believe they are an integral part of ancient cultures and their understanding of the world around them. It could be compared to other myths and folktales in addit ...more
Mar 13, 2016 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-w-kids
My daughter loves this book and has had it read to her several times by her Daddy and Grandma. She asked me to read it last night and it was my first time reading it. It's simple and sweet story that touched me more than I expected. The prose is lovely - easy for young kids to read.
Feb 10, 2009 Darlene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: patrick
This was an interesting twist for me the mountain is being personified and usually when I think of personification it’s with animals. The mountain has feelings of being sad and loving the bird. It wants the bird to stay. The bird then begins to bring seeds to the mountain as it is weeping and trees and plants begin to grow on it. The book ends with the mountain getting its wish that Joy the bird can stay. The mountain which is an inanimate object was built up as the secondary character of the st ...more
Melissa Smith
Jul 06, 2015 Melissa Smith rated it it was amazing
Listening to my little boy read this brought tears to my eyes.
This moved me to misty-eyed love. Highly recommend!
Mar 18, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
"I am Joy, and I have come to greet you."
Absolutely amazing book. It's a children's book, but as an adult, I find it to be an extremely moving parable about pure love and opening oneself up to feelings. The illustrations by Eric Carle are a joyful enhancement to this already, remarkable book.

This book will make you cry!

Judy Lindow
May 31, 2015 Judy Lindow rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully told story with well matched illustrations of Eric Carle. It's one of those rare books that older, 4-5th graders can appreciate as well as the little ones. Like a Shel Silverstein book, where you're ready to hear different messages, or want to rehear important messages, as you mature.
Oct 21, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: picture-books
Like the title says, this is a beautiful story about a cold, bare mountain who falls in love with a bird who happens to stop on it while migrating. Since the mountain has no water or vegetation, the bird cannot stay, but promises to return each year. The story is spellbinding to young children.
Jun 21, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best children's books I've ever read! I love nature and birds, so that is probably one of the reasons I am so enamored with it. I read it to my 7 year old son and it was very sweet how concerned he was for the mountain's happiness. He had a big smile at the end, and so did I.
Jessica Marie
Jul 29, 2013 Jessica Marie rated it it was amazing
Not your typical Children's book. It is a a story book that would most probably have more impact on adults. This book depicts of how pure love transcends through time. To add Eric Carle's superb and unique illustration, this book is a very good addition to anyone's bookshelf.
Deborah Harris
Dec 28, 2013 Deborah Harris added it
Shelves: ar-4, a24
AR Quiz No. 44054 EN Fiction
Accelerated Reader Quiz Information IL: LG - BL: 4.5 - AR Pts: 0.5
Accelerated Reader Quiz Type Information AR Quiz Types: RP
Aug 17, 2015 Marmot rated it it was amazing
What a great kid's book. I love the illustrations, and the story is a neat view of landscapes changing over time. Wish it was still in print, seems to be out of print as it is only available used online, for a pretty high price.
Skylar Burris
Jul 27, 2009 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
A symbolically rich tale. I doubt my daughter grasped the meaning of Joy coming to stay, but she seemed to enjoy the story, and it gave me, as an adult, more to munch on than a typical children's book.
Feb 09, 2010 Richard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
More than just a simple chilren's book, this is a touching short story of love.
Every time I read it to my children I feel how powerful this story is.
Feb 11, 2009 Dan rated it it was amazing
What an extraordinary book--for children and adults alike. Love, grief, life, death--this one has it all in its slim volume.
Apr 20, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
A little long to do as a read aloud but a cute book about a mountain who falls in love with Joy the bird
Rebecca & Brian
May 26, 2013 Rebecca & Brian rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! Sits next to "The Giving Tree" on our shelf. A must read for children and adults.
Apr 12, 2010 Tamar rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly my favorite children's book of all time. It brings tears to my eyes.
Pat Tucker
Nov 20, 2012 Pat Tucker rated it liked it
This is a cute and meaningful book, not just for children but adults also.
Apr 29, 2013 Claire rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
A story about persistence, relationship and hope.
Apr 13, 2008 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Pictures by Eric Carle. Story of compassion and growth.
Lisa Jenk
Apr 16, 2008 Lisa Jenk rated it it was amazing
Have your Kleenex handy!
Family Manzano
Family Manzano rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2016
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denehy 1 1 Sep 03, 2013 09:44PM  
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