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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  471 ratings  ·  105 reviews
When a little bird awakens to find that all of his friends and family have gone south for the winter, it takes a surprising friendship with Mooch the cat to help him find his way. This is a wordless and profoundly moving story--by the creator of the beloved comic strip Mutts--that explores being lost and found, crossing boundaries, saying goodbye, and broadening horizons.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Arrival by Shaun TanFlotsam by David WiesnerTuesday by David WiesnerThe Snowman by Raymond BriggsGood Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Wordless Picture Books
20th out of 140 books — 220 voters
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussKitten's First Full Moon by Kevin HenkesMillions of Cats by Wanda GágPuss in Boots by Charles PerraultThe Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter
Picture Books about Cats
62nd out of 325 books — 156 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 752)
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Jun 14, 2013 Gundula rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who like wordless picture books
South is a sweet, delightfully uncluttered and charming wordless picture book about a cat who helps a lost little bird find its travel companions (the bird had fallen asleep and missed the beginning of the Fall migration to the south, hence the title). I love this story because it tells a wonderful tale of an unusual friendship, using very simple, easy to understand illustrations. And although the illustrations are not exactly the kind I usually like, they work very well in this delightful littl ...more
Lisa Vegan
Feb 05, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pre-readers & listeners & readers; those who love birds, cats, nature, sweet & funny stories
Recommended to Lisa by: Gundula
This nearly wordless picture book has such a sweet story, that of a bird whose flock mates have flown south for the winter while the bird was left behind because of falling asleep. A cat helps him and leads him on a journey, and they finally find some temporarily resting birds, so he can join the other birds. Both bird and cat are wonderful characters. This is a book that young pre-readers, if they know that birds migrate, will be able to “read” and understand this book for themselves. This is a ...more
Jun 25, 2013 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa Vegan
What a sweet, gently humorous story! Little bird dozed off and didn't realize his flock had already begun to fly south for the winter. A passing cat happens upon the panicked bird and offers to journey with him until they find the flock. I like the message of being kind and helpful to strangers (though I did wonder a bit that nobody in the flock missed the poor little bird!?) and it's nice to see the cat-and-bird relationship portrayed in a nice and friendly way for a change. The illustrations a ...more
Catherine Woodman
This is a simple-as-best told story, recapitulating a theme that reoccurs in many a well known children's story book. Can we all relate to this--bird wakes up and realizes that he has overslept, and all his fellow birds are headed south without him. Oops! A cat befriends him (this is how you know it is a work of imagination and fictional), walking with him until theycatch up with the other birds, just as the snow starts to fall--and the cat learns to sing from the bird--so an act of kindness can ...more
Almost wordless. I liked it better than I did the Mutts comic strip the times I attempted to read that. I don't think they're much connected. I will be looking for his other non-comic books.
Re-read July 2013. For some reason this time it really tugged at my heartstrings. That poor cat, one thinks at first, making that long trek for a bird it didn't even know, and then having to say goodbye. But cat's life was enriched by the experience, and the epilogue page does reveal a
Nov 21, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a very sweet wordless tale that depicts kindness and friendship. The story is told through the actions of the two main characters and we had fun narrating our own version of the tale. The illustrations are wonderful and we've really enjoyed reading Patrick McDonnell's books.

This book was selected as one of the books for the July 2013 - Cats and Dogs discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Ashley Sites
I thought that this book was super adorable. This was a great story of kindness and self sacrifice. The little birdie's family flew south for the winter and accidentally left the little bird behind. The kitty helped the little birdie find it's family, even though the journey was long and the weather was cold. I would love to have this book for my future classroom. I felt kind of bad for the kitty though when he/she wanted to take a nap and the bird wouldn't let him/her. I was also glad that the ...more
Ginny Messina
A very patient kitty helps a little bird catch up to the rest of the flock, who have headed south without him. (He was snoozing when they left.) This is an almost-wordless picture book and it’s very charming and sweet.
A caring cat helps a lost little bird travel through the neighborhood, city, woods, and even snow to find his flock. A touching story of helping, caring, and friendship.
Sep 16, 2013 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: autumn, friendship and wordless requests
Recommended to June by: ?
A sweet wordless story about a little bird that gets left behind and a cat that helps it find it's friends. Maybe I'll try this with my film group that is a little older.
South by Patrick McDonnell is the wordless story of how Mooch the Cat helps a little lost bird find his flock. McDonnell's cartoon-like illustrations are charming, clearly showing young readers the action. This little story of compassion, friendship and home will warms the hearts of young and old alike. The Character of Mooch will be familiar to reads of Mutt comics.

I recommend this story for school and public library collections.

Eva Kelly
THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!! It is by the guy who draws "Mutts" about the dog and the cat. Well, the cat is in here and the dog is on one page, but the main thing is a little yellow bird who falls asleep but wakes up when a leaf hits his head, and he realizes it's stick season and his friends are gone! So the cat helps him and holds his hand and they go on a hike in the woods so he can go home.
The only words in this book are "weep" and "walk" but this book doesn't need words. It's so beautiful
Julianna Helms
the illustrations. so adorable. so heartwarming. reminds me a lot of Lost and Found.

And so simple, too.
Kendra Hurst
This book was incredibly adorable! I love it when picture books puts unlikely friends together. Even though the story did not have words, it showed a lot of character for the four legged animal to help the bird find its way home. This book would also be a good way for children to create their own story based off the pictures-- it would allow them to use their own imagination and interpretation. The only thing that I did not like about this book was the art work. I am a fan of more in-depth artwo ...more
Brittany Cuenin
South by Patrick McDonnell is hands down, a book that should be on every child’s bookshelf. It is a quiet and yet powerful tale of friendship with beautiful illustrations.
McDonnell is well known for his cartoon illustrations of Mutts and The Gift of Nothing. I was unfamiliar with him but picked up this picture book, South, on a recommendation.
It is just perfect and nostalgic, all at once. The book has no words (save for the sign declaring South).
The plot line is that the character Mooch the cat
I am possibly the only person on the planet who could go to an appointment with my hematologist & come home with a book. (There's a cart full of books in the waiting room; you buy on the honor system -- 50 cents for paperbacks, $1.00 for hardcovers, all proceeds go to the United Way.) Anyway, this is the book I bought. I'm a long time admirer of Patrick McDonnell's comic strip Mutts; his art is deceptively simple, and so beautiful. His 'children's books' -- they're only ostensibly for childr ...more
McDonnell, P. (2008). South. New York: Little, Brown and Company.


With an initial plot similar to the movie Home Alone, one little birdie sleeps in and is left behind when his flock flies south for the winter. A friendly cat guides the little bird in the right direction to be reunited with the other birds.

This almost wordless picturebook (there is a little weeping), uses a few neutral colors to show the transition of colors between fall and winter. While children will immediately sympat
I really liked this book, partly because I can remember reading some of the Mutts comics as a kid. It is an enjoyable art style and very friendly. There are no words to the book which allows the reader to tell it in their own way. I like this, because it means that the story can change a little bit each time you read it or share it with a child. Children will also be able to follow the story just by looking at the pictures.
Pamela ☼what?!? you want more gruel☼ Tee
SOUTH is a story about a little bird who manages to miss out on migrating with the gang. He's resting under a tree when everyone else flies off and when he wakes he finds himself not only left behind, but with no notion of how to go "south".

The fun comes because it is a cat -- of all creatures! -- who comes to his rescue.

South is a sweet book that makes what I call a wonderful snuggle-read. Which is to say that it's the sort of book that goes well with a warm chocolate chip cook
This book was so adorable! I think it was perfect that it was a wordless book because the emotion from the birds and dog was shown through the pictures instead of through words. I love how they listen for the music coming for the birds and they find them with that. Overall it was just an extremely cute story.
Catharine Keeffe
This is a very cool book because there's no written words on the pages. The whole story is told through pictures which is fascinating and kids could have fun writing their own stories to accompany the pictures.
This book was really cute and heartfelt. It was a wordless picture book so when reading to a kid you might have to explain whats going on in the pictures but overall a nice story and a nice book.
Mar 03, 2014 Cory rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: march
I loved this book. Though it is a wordless book the pictures tell a wonderful story and lets the imagination kick in. This is a great book for learning to be creative and valuing kindness.
The pictures tell this cute, adorable, heartbreaking, sweet story so well. No words are necessary.
"Sometimes it takes a friend to help you find your way." Just get this book.
Another adorable one! This is a true picture book, as there are no words to tell the story. It's a very sweet story and definitely worth a look. You won't be disappointed!
Erica Mayberry
I like this book because it lets your imagination fill in any gaps you have in the story. It allows creativity to flow from the reader to interpret what the book is saying.
This was a cute little book about friendship, but I feel like it was sort of hard to understand what was happening at times without words.
4.25 Stars Wordless books...ick...usually but this one was sweet, thoughtful, simple and lovely. True heart! Great one!!
Leah Gimre
I really like this book because there are a lot of lesson plans that can come out of it. It has no words but is very powerful.
Megan Salter
What a touching picture book! I love Patrick McDonnell, and this is one of his greatest pieces yet. Well done!
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In 1994 McDonnell created the comic strip MUTTS which now appears in over 700 newspapers and 20 countries.

In 2005, McDonnell embarked on a children's book career. His first children’s book, which featured the MUTTS characters, The Gift of Nothing, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Art (2006), his second release, told the story of a boy named Art who makes art. His next release, Just Like
More about Patrick McDonnell...
Me...Jane The Monsters' Monster The Gift of Nothing Art MUTTS

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