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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,334 ratings  ·  293 reviews
"Like nothing you have seen before," raves Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.

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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Schwartz & Wade
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,258)
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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
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
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
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
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
Darin Nordman
Bluebird by Bob Staake

Bluebird was a very different wordless picture book of the selected 3. I really like the how modern the illustrations were and how the emotions were displayed so vividly. Readers can see the different emotions the main character shows throughout the book and gives you an idea what will happen next. You can see that the main character is somewhat of a "loner". None of the other students are friends with the main character and they poke fun. A blue bird comes along and puts a
Isabelle Jimenez
The illustrations and color palette are simple, yet detailed enough to narrate the story without needing words. Now, everyone will tell themselves a little bit of a different variation of the story with no words to direct them on what exactly is happening, but the main point of this story (that I came up with) is that a little boy who has no friends, and would like one, comes across this bluebird. And this bluebird just won't leave him be! He follows him about, and finally, the little boy gives ...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.
Edward Sullivan
So sad and so beautiful. Simple and profound.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
The story these pictures tell is so touching and very easily grabs you emotionally as they take you through the journey of this little boy. We have all been in that position at some point, sad, lonely, and just wishing there was something that could comfort us. I find it interesting that they chose a bird to become his friend because birds often symbolize hope and freedom, a bluebird specifically shows transformation and happiness, whether this was purposeful or accidental, there is a wonderful ...more
Kathryn Herbert
Bluebird, illustrated by Bob Staake, is an emotional picture book that explores the difficulties of bullying and the significance of friendship. In this wordless tale between a lonely boy and a heroic bird, Staake has drawn a book that is both visually beautiful and captivating. Taking place in New York City with a scenery full of sky blues and melancholy grays, a young boy gets harassed by his classmates. While his school teacher seems to be oblivious, a bluebird takes notice of it all. During ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Macy added it
This beautiful and moving story is about a young, lonely boy who is befriended by a little blue bird, who follows him around and cheers him up along the way. Their friendship is put to the test at the very end, which will leave you with a few tears, but also leave you with feelings of happiness. The setting takes place in the city and takes you through the day-to-day events of this young boy's life. I love the message of this story that there is always a reason to be happy, even if that reason i ...more
Sarah Wilbern
Staake, B. (2013). BLUEBIRD. New York: Random House Children's Books.
Starred review in Kirkus Reviews.
Free Choice

This book has no words in it, just pictures. The book takes place in a major city. There was a boy who was all by himself. He was an outsider to his peers. There was a bluebird that came along that became the boys friend. At the end of the story, the boys peers were being mean to the boy, and one peer through a stick and it hit the bluebird. The bluebird gets injured and the boy is u
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
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
Ashley Saunders
Staake, B. (2013) Bluebird. Schwartz & Wade Books.

Kirkus Starred Review


This wordless book demonstrates the true meaning of friendship and how friendships can end. The story shows a little boy that does not have any friends at school and how he meets an unlikely friend. The friend was a little bluebird that follows the boy around on his adventures through the city. As the images of the book progress, the reader notices how the boy switches from being lonely to being happy. The ending
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:
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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.
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