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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,801 ratings  ·  473 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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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,801 ratings  ·  473 reviews

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Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Carmen by: NYT Book Review
This book is depressing as hell. I am not understanding why it is so praised and lauded.

The pictures are pretty and it is wordless - two things I really love in a book.

But the story? OMG. A boy is a loner and/or ostracized. A little bluebird starts following him and becoming his friend, I guess. But when bullies attack the little boy in the park in order to steal is brand-new toy sailboat, the bird (view spoiler)
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
Contains mild spoilers

This is a picture book without text, I don't like the illustration style, they look too computer generated for my taste. The story contains themes about loss, bullying, loneliness and death.

A boy makes friends with a bird, he seems lonely and the story shows no friends or adults around in his life. When bullies try to take his boat in the park his friend the bird gets killed. The story has been mainly set in real life until this part but now many coloured birds lift the dea
Dave Schaafsma
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'll admit I read this book in part because I had read severely divergent reviews about the book. It's a silent picture book that includes something a little surprising, and it has a fantasy ending. The story is about a bullied boy who befriends a bluebird; they travel the big city together. They share cookies, they play around together as friends do. Then (spoiler alert) the bullies accidentally kill the bird with a stick. Afterwards all sorts of other birds iterally lift the boy up and carry h ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
May 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Elizabeth K.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-lucy
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
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nerdy-bookclub
Just could not get past the idea of the bird being killed by bullies and the little boy losing his only friend. Not sure what all the rave reviews are about, but when I read this book to my ten year old daughter (we still love to read picture books together), she said she did not like this book at all. I think many readers will be caught off guard with this ending, even if the bird is lifted up to heaven.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great no word picture book about a boy and his bluebird. Reminiscent of The Red Balloon.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Steph Sinclair
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sara Bland
Apr 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-s
This is a well illustrated book, a book with no words. The fact that this book has no words is great because it leaves the narration of the story up to the reader to an extent. The style is very unique in that all of the pictures are on a grayscale except for the bluebird. What starts out to be a nice little story of a boy finding a friend in a bluebird ends abruptly when bullies attack him and kill his bird. The bird just lays on the ground, feathers ripped out, slumped over on its face, the br ...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
May 22, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
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
Edward Sullivan
So sad and so beautiful. Simple and profound.
Holly Mueller
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
Darin Nordman
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 Lovejoy
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Karen Schmidt
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A wordless picture book with fabulous illustration that depict New York. This book combines round, circular characters with the contrast of thick lines of traditional comic framing creating an interesting and sharp contrast. Hues of blue and grey support the mood of the story. Characters are nondescript that allows all students to identify with the book. However, this is a love it or hate it book. A boy is bullied at school but a bird befriends him. The boy and his bird play in the streets of Ne ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Robert Davis
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
A nice wordless story about loneliness, friendship, loss and life.
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this beautiful and moving wordless picture book about friendship, love and loss. It is both sad and uplifting.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, childrens
Well, that was kind of heart-breaking... Good story, though.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Loss and wordless requests
Recommended to June by: Goodreads
Reminds me of The Red BalloonThe Red Balloon. Lonely boy befriended by a "Bluebird." When mean boys try to steal the boy's boat tragedy results and different colored birds lift the boy into the sky. ...more
Anastasia Hutson
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Review by Anastasia Hutson
Bluebird is a book about a lonely boy, in what seems to be elementary school, who is bullied by his classmates. One day while walking home from school the boy is followed by a bird. While walking through the town they both go back and forth playing and hiding from one another. Very quickly these two become close friends and stroll through the town together having fun. The whole time the little boy had a huge smile on his face, this little bird made a world of a
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This wordless book was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. I think that anyone can relate to either the little boy’s loneliness or to the death of the bird/ the loss of someone who is important to you. I feel that this book does a beautiful job of showing how just because someone or something dies doesn’t mean that it is the end. In the end of the book many other birds come and lift the little boy up into the clouds and then the bluebird stands up and flies off high up into the clouds. I tho ...more
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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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