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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  983 ratings  ·  258 reviews
In his most beautiful and moving work to date, Bob Staake explores the universal themes of loneliness, bullying, and the importance of friendship. In this emotional picture book, readers will be captivated as they follow the journey of a bluebird as he develops a friendship with a young boy and ultimately risks his life to save the boy from harm. Both simple and evocative,...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Schwartz & Wade
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This is going to be one of those reviews where I go against popular opinion, friends. Almost everyone here on Goodreads seems to be very much of the mind that Bluebird was filled with Emotion and Amazingness, and the back cover of the book itself has, like, actual review-type people saying “THIS BOOK IS A BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL THING!!”

So clearly I am in the minority, here, since my reaction was more along the lines of

What. The fuck?

Because here’s what we’ve got.

It's all wordless, so visualize alo...more
Definitely one of the strongest, saddest, and most inspirational picture books I've read lately. In this wordless allegory of friendship between and bird and a boy, Staake uses digital renderings of geometric shapes and shades of grey and blue, along with comic-style framing, to portray the urban setting. When a bluebird perks up a boy's miserable day, they frolic together on the street and in the park. A tragic event (that may shock some readers) leads to an inspirational, unforgettable ending....more
Bluebird is a beautiful story of friendship, hope, and the immeasurable spirit of love. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous, each page dripping with vivid imagery and emotion without one printed word. The images are at the same time simplistic and evocative, creating a uniquely powerful and visceral experience as you turn each page.

I love that the boy and the bird travel through NYC together; living in a big city myself, it's a nostalgic gesture to the wonder that surrounds us all. Without spoil...more
Steph Sinclair
There are so many lessons to be learned in the pages of Bluebird from bullying, loneliness, dealing with loss and letting go. I'm so very impressed with how Staake manages to weave all of these points together in only 40 pages with pictures alone.

Bluebird follows the story of a young boy who is friendless and the victim of bullying at school. He's excluded from group recess activities and teased in class. Meanwhile, a small bluebird watches the boy and proceeds to follow him after school releas...more
A gorgeous, wordless picture book done in the style of a graphic novel in lovely hues of blue, grey and black. Our main character is a shy young boy who does not fit in with the children in his school. After school, a sweet bluebird follows this boy around town (it looks like NYC) and the boy comes out of his shell and smiles more and enjoys his day tripping until... He runs into a group a bullies and the bluebird helps him escape, but one of the mean boys strikes the bird with a stick and he's...more
Okay so I didn't even read the book....but there are no words, So i couldn't read it...BUT..the pictures are confusing, got through the first page and gave up...I might try it again and give it a better review...but...maybe not! I tried to look at it again but there is so many pictures and it confusing...I don't want to interpret their drawings, that is why I read a book so you can tell me a story. ahhhhhhhHHHHHH HHHH I know the pictures are suppose to tell the story but that is not why I read a...more
Rachel Watkins
This wordless picture book set in NYC tells the story of friendship and bullying through the use of a sparse color palate and dramatic illustrations. Bluebird is the kind of book that can be used in lower as well as upper elementary classrooms as the story yields itself to discussions on life, death, loyalty, and truth.
Elizabeth K.
I wanted to like this book a lot, because it looked gorgeous and it IS gorgeous. It's great New York City images in a very distinct style, and when I started reading it, I quickly started thinking about what a great gift book this would be for New York City kids. And when I say "reading," I mean more like talking through the pictures about a boy and a bluebird with my 2 1/2 year old, because there aren't any actual words in this book. It's a picture book, that's cool.

It was cool, actually until...more
Oh wow. I wish I had someone to talk to about this book right now! It's a story of friendship and conquering fears, bullying and bravery. SPOILER ALERT: But the end was shocking, and although I usually love stories of loss and legacy, this one seemed unnecessary to me. I remembered Mr. Schu had an interview with Bob Staake on his blog, so I went back to that and Mr. Staake said maybe what you think happened at the end didn't. That's why I need to process it with someone before I share it with ki...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This one was nearly 4 stars until the bird died. I have big problems with bullies killing animals for no reason and then taking no responsibility for it, particularly in kids' books. Kids get their sense of right and wrong from stories, and this one sends messages that are really hard to parse without words. I loved the friendship part, and if the bird had been nursed back to health by the boy or something, it would have been a better friendship book. As it is, it tried to be both a friendship b...more
Apr 09, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a melancholy tale, one about loneliness, bullying, friendship and sacrifice. The wordless tale is told in a series of illustrated strips in a kind of picture book - graphic novel hybrid. The story is endearing, but the ending is a bit sad, so parents should read this book first to determine if its appropriate for their children. Our youngest interpreted the ending differently (view spoiler)...more
Bob Staake's Bluebird is one of my favorite picture books of the year. A wordless book that's beautifully illustrated. The touching story of loneliness and friendship is what put it top of my list.

A lonely and sad little boy is befriended by a blue bird. The blue bird follows him to school, waits for him after school and is with him as he walks home from school through the park, ultimately risking its life for the little boy.

It's rare for a wordless picture book to be so powerful and the wordl...more
Ok, so I think I have said this in the past and I will say it again; storybooks should actually have a story. This book was very confusing with the multiple pictures. I really could not follow it. I feel if you are going to have a "wordless" story book and it is for children it shouldn't have multi-frame images. The intended targets for this book will flip through the first few pages and put it to the side. The artwork is great but, that is really about it. There are a few books that can pull of...more
I guess I'm one of the few people who aren't entranced with this wordless picture book. The first 2/3 was okay, but - for me - well...boring. Then, all of a sudden, right out of the blue, (Spoiler-of-a-sort coming) there's a shocking turn of events and then - what? - a spiritually uplifting ending? I read it three times. School just got out or I'd LOVE to give it to some of my 4th graders to see how they perceive it. I hate giving "bad" ratings, but I'm being kindly truthful here....Let's say a...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lu Benke
Thanks to Stacy for sharing this! A great picture book to talk with kids about visual literacy. Seems like there are quite a few Don't-let-the-pigeon-drive-the-bus type of illustrations lately with just circles, a few shapes and lines to convey quite a few emotions and actions. I got involved enough in the storyline that I found myself peaking under the library's mylar cover to see if there was one last view of the bluebird under the dust cover on the back end page!
Allison Barry
Text-to-self: This book really hit home for me. I was picked on in elementary school and at home with the boys in my neighborhood, never to the extent of fighting. I think many students would be able to relate to this story because the underlying message is bullying. The fact that there was something in the boy's life that lifted his spirits made me smile.

Text-to-text: In my English Composition class, I read an article about bullying. In this case, it was cyber bullying and it questioned whethe...more
Read for Librarian Book Group
Nope. Not a fan. I was charmed at first, by this picture-only picture book, though I found it a bit tough to follow the narrative on some pages. But the library has it in the "Parenting" section of children's books for a reason and that reason has to do with the ending. Good for helping a child understand death, I guess, as long as your belief about death involves floating up into the clouds.
Sarah Foote
Bluebird is a true picture book. No text, only illustrations, this book captures the audiences’ hearts. A story of a bird, bringing light and joy into a lonely boy’s world. They become friends and enjoy the day together. When an evil bully throws a stick at the friendly bird, the bird dies and the lonely boy is sad. Other birds come, and carry the lonely boy up into the clouds, all while he holds his bluebird friend. The bluebird is faintly seen in the clouds, gone but he boy is smiling, knowing...more
Wow. I am really going agains popular opinion on this one. I loved that it told the story through pictures...I just didn't love the story. The boy doesn't make real friends, the bullies don't learn their lesson, and the ending is just strange. I would put it in our wordless book tub just to see what kind of reaction students have.
This is some seriously high-level visual storytelling, using lighting and composition (only flat, geometric, limited palette shapes done in Photoshop) to tell a very emotional story. Bob Staake is an accomplished illustrator, with award-winning images such as this one to his name:
Chris Callaway
I loved the modernist art design of this book and the selective uses of color, and it tells a simple story effectively and beautifully. It does so without words, however, and I found that this gave the story a greater impact--it drew me in much more than language would have. One of the best children's books I've seen lately.
Megan Schmale
Bob Staake
Text-to-Self: The book is a great visual representation of a friendship between a young boy and a bird. The bird is always there for the young boy and watches over him. I could talk to the students about the importance of friendship and what it means to be a good friend. I could have the students draw a picture of themselves and their best friend and hang the drawings up around the classroom so they can remember that it is important to always be a good friend. I can make sure...more
This has a sucker punch of an ending, but a beautiful resolution. Younger kids might need help navigating the graphic frames...sometimes even I was confused as to whether I should read some portion of pages from top to bottom or left to right.
This book proves that pictures really are worth a thousand words. I've read thousands of pages and not had some of them touch my heart the way these simple pictures did.
Sarah D'Arco
Great illustrations take the reader through the start of a friendship between a boy and a bluebird. Wordless but powerful.
Carrie Gelson
Much to this little wordless title. Highly emotional. Could be explored endlessly.
There is something about this book that tugs at your heart and soul. It begs to be read over and over. I can look at any spread and immediately be drawn into the story. I actually felt myself draw inward when the boy was being teased, and sigh with relief when he made friends with the children at the park, and tense when the bullies came out of the shadows, and rise when the birds carried the boy in the sky. In its quietude, it is a private story to be felt more than read, and Bob Staake was a g...more
Edward Sullivan
So sad and so beautiful. Simple and profound.
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Henrico Youth Boo...: Bluebird by Bob Staake 1 5 Oct 24, 2013 12:04PM  
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Bob Staake has authored and/or illustrated more than forty-two books, including The Red Lemon, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year. His work has graced the cover of The New Yorker a dozen times, and his November 17, 2008 Barack Obama victory cover was named Best Magazine Cover of the Year by Time magazine. He lives on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts.
More about Bob Staake...
Look! A Book! The Donut Chef The Red Lemon Look! Another Book! Hello, Robots!

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