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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  914 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Shy loves birds. He'd love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he's only ever read about them in books. . .until a real bird comes along. He's dying to meet her, but there's just one problem: Shy is, well, shy--so shy, in fact, that he's afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page?

This sweetly relatable picture bo
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Viking
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Deborah Amazon's age ranges tend to be a bit limited... my publisher says 4 and up — which pleases me because I like to think that this book works on…moreAmazon's age ranges tend to be a bit limited... my publisher says 4 and up — which pleases me because I like to think that this book works on different levels, appropriate for the youngest readers, but also a fun mystery for older readers. And I think the idea of shyness is one that most people can relate to. Thanks for asking!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
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Colby Sharp
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 2016-nerdy
Deborah Freedman is amazing. Shy will blow readers away.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I have read this book dozens and dozens of times with my son. He absolutely loves the story. When my husband walked him upstairs to bed the night after we got the book, he didn't even make it to the top of the stairs before he requested his reading choices for the night, "Race car books and Shy, please." The book features a character who is Shy and who is unable to say hello to a yellow bird. I won't give anything away, but this is a book that will teach many lessons to readers (and not just the ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I get it, but I just don't care for it. Message has been done and isn't worth redoing, art is too delicate, simple, and difficult to see. I'd be willing to bet that, in general, more adults than children will love it. When I was a shy child (which I do remember), I would not have liked this.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
SHY is just as good as everyone says it is. This story is sweet and funny and gorgeous. There's going to be a lot to talk about with this one, but mostly readers will love its huge heart.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful pictures and a gentle, lovely story that I could completely relate to.
Baby Bookworm
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is the lovely Shy by Deborah Freedman, a gorgeous fable about overcoming fears and shyness.

Shy is a very timid sort. He’s most comfortable hidden between the pages of a book (this one, to be precise). Still, he dreams of having the courage to explore “a land far away,” where so many of his books are set. One day, he sees a beautiful bird, one of his favorite readi
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I remember most about my classroom years, kindergarten through high school graduation, is knowing the answers over and over again but being too afraid to raise my hand. I was painfully quiet except when with close friends. My solace was in books; books allowed me the freedom to be everything I felt inside on the outside as long as I was reading.

Upon finding out a speech class was required for all incoming freshmen in college, I felt true fear. What saved me were grim determinat
This picture book is very cute and makes such clever use of the gutter (the place where the book pages are bound together). Shy spends all of his time hiding and reading books. One day a bird comes along and Shy is delighted by her singing, but he's too shy to say anything. Young readers, especially shy ones will appreciate Shy's journey to find this bird. The illustrations, made with pencil, watercolor, bits of colored pencil, and assembled in Photoshop, are just beautiful!
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wow. Not only is the storyline deceptively simple & sweet, but the illustrations are stunning (also deceptively simple). I can see why it's getting a lot of well deserved buzz.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into this at all. Too abstract, maybe, for the subject matter? I didn't like that we don't see the main character until the end. Nice watercolors, though.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Lovely colors and soothing pictures detail this book about two unlikely animals who become friends.
Jillian Heise
Sweet, charming story with beautiful, soft illustrations. I know exactly who I would want to hand this book to.
What a sweet story! The illustrations are luscious, as always, with the added bonus of Shy residing literally between the pages of the book until he is brave enough to step out.
Danielle Mootz
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and sweet book. My kids were so excited to discover....SPOILER ALERT.....Shy was a giraffe.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who is Shy? That is the fun mystery for the first portion of this book. Shy has learned about birds in books. And then he meets one. Shy is too shy to interact with the bird. But when he gets a second chance he does not let it pass him by!
Claudine Carmel
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A subtle and sweet story with gorgeous illustrations that have a dreamy, soft feel about them.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the illustrations and the gentle story. Shy comes across as a quiet thoughtful book lover who engages and dreams through reading until one day a bird flies by and lures Shy out to discover the world beyond books. I like the way the author keeps Shy hidden from the reader in the beginning. This book has a very delicate, soft touch that shows the slow to warm or reluctant to engage child the benefits of taking a chance.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Deborah Freedman's art is spectacular. The story is wonderful.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations are just so perfect. The story is just what any shy kid needs.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gently rendered in soft muted colors - this is a quiet, lovely story about shyness and courage.
Lynn  Davidson
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This could be called a quiet book. It is quiet in words, in pictures, in the colours chosen - so quiet, in fact, one page is harder to read - giving the idea that the shy characters are whispering or speaking very softly and shyly.

This is a sweet story for the shy child - and adult who was a shy child, now reading to a child.

Shy is a character who is .. shy .. and reads a lot. So very shy is Shy that he doesn't want to venture out until a real bird comes singing. He doesn't want to lose her so
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Absolutely beautiful illustrations, chock full of color and texture, are what make this story exceptional. Shy wants to talk to a certain bird, but he's afraid. I had to flip through this twice just to see all the art again. Story is okay.
Carrie Gelson
Gentle and lovely in so many ways
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story. Maybe because it's about someone who's a bit reserved and afraid to enter the world, who prefers the worlds brought to life between the pages of a book. It did make a slight detour as it seemed to be moving into the romance arena. Beautiful, serene illustrations. Adding this to my favorites shelf.
Jenna Grodzicki
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Shy was happiest between the pages of a book." From the opening line, I was immediately drawn into this story. I wanted to know who Shy was, but I also wanted him to find a friend. It was great to watch his courage grow from beginning to end. The muted illustrations are beautiful. Young readers who experience shyness or are just looking for a friend will relate to this book.
Kris DeLabio
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture
The most touching of picture books. You don't know who Shy who is until almost the end when his bird come back to be a friend.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Do you know a shy child? Do you remember being a shy child? Because this beautifully sweet book with its warm and soft illustrations would be a perfect fit for any child who deals with being reserved or shy. So sweet. This is the first picture book Iv'e read that has addressed being shy.
I was able to find Shy by Deborah Freedman at my library, and it is newly published. And then I read it with my granddaughter for my first time for both of us. There is this most mysterious "thing" named Shy who loves reading, stories about "once upon a time. . . or in a land far away", but he is lonely. A small yellow bird goes flying by, and Shy becomes intrigued, but also wonders how to talk to a bird. What if he blows it? The beginning of a relationship is hard, but Shy does begin, and becau ...more
Katie Miller
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lae3005
This book has amazing illustrations, and a lot of students, especially very young ones, could probably relate to the feeling of shyness.
Trasa Rossi
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shy is about a giraffe who has a hard time talking to others, but loves to read books of far way places. Shy overcomes his fear in order to speak to a bird he wants to become friends with, named Florence. I think the storyline was very relatable for a child who is shy as well. I loved the character progression of shy and how the reader slowly saw him start to break out of his shell. I also liked how the illustrator hid Shy, until he finally decided to speak to Florence, almost as if Shy was hidi ...more
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Once upon a time, I was an architect. But now I'd much rather build worlds in books — picture books like Scribble , Blue Chicken , The Story of Fish & Snail , and By Mouse & Frog . My most recent books are Shy and This House, Once . Coming in April, 2019: CARL and the meaning of life .

I love reading books; I hate rating them! Let's just say that if I didn't like a book, it isn't he
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