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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
But the Sparrow Stayed (Bilingual with Animal Sounds) by Norman Whaler is a sweet book that contains two poems perfect to introduce children to poetry. The two poems introduce two different birds that each embark on separate journeys that teach them valuable life lessons about bravery and standing strong. The first poem follows Sparrow in a fight against the change in seasons. As winter takes over, Sparrow chooses to stay and weaves a lovely metaphor that teaches readers how to stand strong against a bully and to stay true to yourself. The second poem is an adventure when an eagle takes its first flight after conquering its fear in an important message about being brave and trying new things.
Norman Whaler delivers an ideal read for parents and children to share together while providing a fun foray for children into poetry, imagery, and metaphors. The writing weaves beautiful imagery that is stunning and contains amazing visuals with the winter arriving to take over the land, told through lovely details that describe legions of white against green defenders. The imageries that Whaler uses bring to life a winter storm to create a white landscape. Through this lovely metaphor, Whaler teaches children about standing up for themselves against a bully, as the sparrow stays no matter what the winter does, and staying true to who they are.
The poems are told in both English and in Spanish and paired with illustrations that use warm colors and fine details that bring out the emotion within the poems. The illustrations provide stunning visuals of the birds which let children see the sparrow facing the winter alone and scenic moments that show the freedom and sights that the eagle discovers. The book also provides some fun facts about sparrows and eagles. But the Sparrow Stayed teaches delightful lessons to children about standing up against bullies, being themselves, conquering fear, taking chances, and being brave, which will spark discussions between parents and children.