Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review - Robin's Winter Song

Robin's Winter Song
by Suzanne Barton
Date: 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

The forest was bustling with activity. As the red and orange leaves swirled in the wind, Robin started to worry.

Something was changing.

Finch was flying south, because Winter was coming. Squirrel was burying food, because Winter was coming. Even Owl was making his nest warm. Why? That's right – because Winter was coming. Robin decided he didn't like the sound of Winter one little bit. But that was before the snow ...

A beautifully tender story of a little robin's first winter from the enormously talented creator of The Dawn Chorus.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a (mostly) cute picture book about a little robin's first winter. Up until the last couple of pages, I thought it would be getting a higher rating. But then it had to throw in a couple of my pet peeves.

The premise is quite amusing. When all of Robin's friends talk about Winter's impending arrival, he assumes it's a person. And that person sounds kind of nasty: scary, greedy, and cold. Since Robin's not a migrating bird, he hunkers down with Bear to wait out Winter's visit. But then he wakes up and sees the world transformed into a wonderland, plays with all of his friends in the snow, and ends up enjoying himself immensely. When he hears that Spring is coming, he doesn't get scared but, rather, looks forward to it.

The illustrations look like they're a mixture of drawing and some sort of collage, either paper or fabric (I'm not really sure). They're really cute, in any case. There are nice little touches with leaves, pine needles, and (eventually) crocuses embellishing the illustrations, which helps show the passage of the seasons.

My main complaint, though, is the writing. It wasn't too bad for the most part, except right at the end. Suddenly, there were a whole bunch of -ly adverbs, and Bear smiled his speech (which is an instant loss of a star from me; you simply can't make words come out of your mouth with a silent action).

All in all, this is a decent winter picture book with a rather cute story. I just wish the writing had been cleaned up a little more; then I could've wholeheartedly given it a higher rating.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

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