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The Worm and the Bird

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A beautifully illustrated picture book from the bestselling author of The Fox and the Star. Deep below the earth, Worm dreams of having more space. There's not much room down there. Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind. As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for? This is a book about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can b A beautifully illustrated picture book from the bestselling author of The Fox and the Star. Deep below the earth, Worm dreams of having more space. There's not much room down there. Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind. As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for? This is a book about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can be beautiful.


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A beautifully illustrated picture book from the bestselling author of The Fox and the Star. Deep below the earth, Worm dreams of having more space. There's not much room down there. Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind. As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for? This is a book about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can b A beautifully illustrated picture book from the bestselling author of The Fox and the Star. Deep below the earth, Worm dreams of having more space. There's not much room down there. Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind. As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for? This is a book about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can be beautiful.

30 review for The Worm and the Bird

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    soooo, apparently i’ve become a downer. which is not a shocking realization; more a confirmation of how my ever-declining circumstances have affected my mood and outlook and productivity and now, even my ability to interpret books. because if the intended message of this book is “about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can be beautiful,” then i have never been less in synch with my own takeaway lesson. the book itself is beautiful - no surprise there, from its gilded cover to its soooo, apparently i’ve become a downer. which is not a shocking realization; more a confirmation of how my ever-declining circumstances have affected my mood and outlook and productivity and now, even my ability to interpret books. because if the intended message of this book is “about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can be beautiful,” then i have never been less in synch with my own takeaway lesson. the book itself is beautiful - no surprise there, from its gilded cover to its endpapers front (close-up) and back to its illustrations, color scheme and autumnal tone. all physically beautiful. but if all interpretations are valid (and they are), and dependent upon what the reader brings to the task, well, i must be the bleakest of bettys. i don’t want to ruin the story for you (even though, like The Fox and the Star, its charms are weighted in favor of the images), so suffice it to say, the first half of this story is presented from the perspective of the worm, and the second half from the perspective of the bird. i could not help but relate to the worm from the first sentence in the book, There's not much room where I live, an invertebrate-version of urban living and the teeming commute: the hectic pace and grueling determination just to get by: i have no problem relating to that worm, just like i relate to the ant in that grasshopper/ant fable, for all the good it’s done me. this little worm does what needs doing and sacrifices rest and pleasure and guts it out until he starts dreaming about maybe being a little more than he is, having a little more space, experience, opportunity - to break free from the crowded, busy soil and see if the grass is greener on the other side of the terrain. AND SO he risks it all and exerts himself, pushing his way to the top, anticipating an improvement over the cramped and stressful life he’s endured; a reward for all his diligence, and when he finally pokes his little worm head above the ground, he sees a bird has been waiting there all along for him. and spoiler alert, bickford-smith is a traditionalist when it comes to bird/worm relationships, so it doesn’t exactly go like this: and yes, before the POV switches to that of the bird, the worm does get to do something he never thought he would, but lemme tell you - it is a REAL fleeting joy. so, if you want to see this as a triumph and a (seriously - really brief) reward for hoping and taking a chance, you’re a better man than me. all i see is that putting yourself out there ends in tragedy and failure, so even if your life is horrible and unrewarding, that is just tough titties for you, because some people were just meant to eat dirt all day and thinking you deserve more than your lot is a good way to become food for someone else’s babies. or maybe i’m just projecting my struggle to find meaningful work upon this tale and maybe i’ve been the worm long enough and if i hang in there just a little longer, maybe someday soon i can become the bird. and then everyone will want to hire me! a beautiful book to look at. what you take away from it is your own little rorschach test. *********************************************** if this is even half as pretty as The Fox and the Star, i will be thrilled. and i hope the early worm gets that bird... *********************************************** okay, i have now read it and it is just as pretty as fox/star, but man ... that story, tho. maybe i'm just a glass-half-empty girl, but i think that message is dark. review to come... come to my blog!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    There's not too much I want to say about this book as being a picture book the story is quite condensed. I can say it's a stunning object that I think adults and children alike will love. There is also some mild peril and slight dread I wasn't expecting. Hahaha. It's also perfectly autumnal. There's not too much I want to say about this book as being a picture book the story is quite condensed. I can say it's a stunning object that I think adults and children alike will love. There is also some mild peril and slight dread I wasn't expecting. Hahaha. It's also perfectly autumnal.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    2.5 stars Really nice illustrations show a worm that lives in the crowded earth and longs to escape and experience a change of perspective. A rook takes the worm and flies into the air, the worms says 'I see the earth! everything is so beautiful! Then the text takes the viewpoint of the rook, or it could be a starling. The story did leave me wondering. Obviously the bird eats the worm but that felt quite sad after getting to know the little chap with cute eyes and a philosophical disposition. I 2.5 stars Really nice illustrations show a worm that lives in the crowded earth and longs to escape and experience a change of perspective. A rook takes the worm and flies into the air, the worms says 'I see the earth! everything is so beautiful! Then the text takes the viewpoint of the rook, or it could be a starling. The story did leave me wondering. Obviously the bird eats the worm but that felt quite sad after getting to know the little chap with cute eyes and a philosophical disposition. I wondered what message I was getting, a moment of exhilaration was worth dying for? The worm says 'I dream of a place I can truly be alone' and then he says 'Today, Today is the day! just before he dies. I'm not sure I'm ready to read about suicidal worms that have a happy 'bring it on' attitude to death. But lots of people really enjoyed this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alice Lippart

    Meaningful story, but the artwork is what steals the show.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alice (Married To Books)

    The four-star rating is for the illustrations alone. They were absolutely stunning! There is very little text, so I didn't quite feel the message of the story that was trying to come across. The four-star rating is for the illustrations alone. They were absolutely stunning! There is very little text, so I didn't quite feel the message of the story that was trying to come across.

  6. 4 out of 5

    KaleidoscopicCasey

    3 Stars rounded up because the quality of the hardcover version deserves all the stars I feel kind of terrible giving this book a three-star review. I know, I put four, but realistically it's a three. I just genuinely couldn't bring myself to rate this beautiful piece of art three stars. I received both The Fox and the Star and The Worm and the Bird for Christmas this year after having them on my wishlist for years. I have always enjoyed Coralie Bickford-Smith's illustrative style because it's si 3 Stars rounded up because the quality of the hardcover version deserves all the stars I feel kind of terrible giving this book a three-star review. I know, I put four, but realistically it's a three. I just genuinely couldn't bring myself to rate this beautiful piece of art three stars. I received both The Fox and the Star and The Worm and the Bird for Christmas this year after having them on my wishlist for years. I have always enjoyed Coralie Bickford-Smith's illustrative style because it's simple but bold and also incredibly distinct so I was thrilled when I learned she was illustrating her own book. Of the two, I definitely enjoyed the story of Fox better than Worm. Obviously both books are stunning, and The Worm and the Bird starts with worm searching for purpose and... more... but... then the tone of the book abruptly changes. I guess if you are reading with a child this is an excellent opportunity to discuss the circle of life. *shrugs* If you are considering purchasing this book, do yourself a favor and get the hardcover. Just feeling the weight of the pages is an experience in and of itself, but the artwork is where it really sets itself apart from all other picture books.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rikke

    A beautiful book filled with pictures as meaningful as its words. Or perhaps, pictures weighs more than words in this particular case. The Worm and the Bird is a delight for the eye and the mind. It's about a worm, lived in cramped spaces beneath the earth, always working, never resting, always crawling on towards something else. Something different and something more. And it's a book about a bird, sitting excruciatingly still and waiting for a worm to stick its head up through the ground. But, mos A beautiful book filled with pictures as meaningful as its words. Or perhaps, pictures weighs more than words in this particular case. The Worm and the Bird is a delight for the eye and the mind. It's about a worm, lived in cramped spaces beneath the earth, always working, never resting, always crawling on towards something else. Something different and something more. And it's a book about a bird, sitting excruciatingly still and waiting for a worm to stick its head up through the ground. But, most of all: this is a story of life, of hoping and of the brief beauty that can occur in the nature's brutality.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Soňa

    Deep below the earth, Wien dreams of having more space. There's not much room Down there. Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind. As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for? Another book where all stands and falls on the pictures. This time, pictures are black/white/pinkish gold showing simple desires of a worm as well as of the bird. And their wishes are not that far from each other... Today! Today is the day! I see Earth! It is so beautiful! First sentence: There's no Deep below the earth, Wien dreams of having more space. There's not much room Down there. Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind. As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for? Another book where all stands and falls on the pictures. This time, pictures are black/white/pinkish gold showing simple desires of a worm as well as of the bird. And their wishes are not that far from each other... Today! Today is the day! I see Earth! It is so beautiful! First sentence: There's not much room where I live.. Last sentence: ...and life can be full of endless possibility... Goodreads Challenge 2020: 16. kniha

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Durrant

    Absolutely beautiful cover, and gorgeous illustrations. A somewhat dark tale about the importance of devoting time to the things that really matter.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mace

    A poignant little picture book that is just as beautiful inside as it is outside! A real stunner and one that both children and adults will enjoy on many levels!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    With laconic beauty, first a worm and then a bird lament their bustling surroundings, yearning for solitude. Exquisitely illustrated (indeed, probably more the reason to obtain) it enhances the minuteness of the words. Lovely upon the table, endearing in the hands.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really didn't think the worm should die (spoilers) but jeeze. The illustrations were absolutely stunning, a very muted, earthy palette that took my breath away. The writing lacked and lagged compared to them though. So I give the writing two stars and the illustrations four! It took me about three - four minutes to finish this, I do recommend it. I really didn't think the worm should die (spoilers) but jeeze. The illustrations were absolutely stunning, a very muted, earthy palette that took my breath away. The writing lacked and lagged compared to them though. So I give the writing two stars and the illustrations four! It took me about three - four minutes to finish this, I do recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mirela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Imo It is beautiful metaphor of one type of human life that is quite spread... being always in a hurry ( even completely unessesery in objective reality) , always getting annoyed of others (seeing them like obstacles in your way). Not hearing, not seeing beauty. Dreaming of something that is maybe not meant at all to be. Like dreaming about empty goals. When finally there you are probably in the end of a life and while dieing you see how actually beautiful life is. But maybe you missed it. On ot Imo It is beautiful metaphor of one type of human life that is quite spread... being always in a hurry ( even completely unessesery in objective reality) , always getting annoyed of others (seeing them like obstacles in your way). Not hearing, not seeing beauty. Dreaming of something that is maybe not meant at all to be. Like dreaming about empty goals. When finally there you are probably in the end of a life and while dieing you see how actually beautiful life is. But maybe you missed it. On other hand 🐦 is different type of human personality and she except the world as it is.( Weather is changing she patiently wait whit no drama, she just is there in moment and grabs opportunity when there is one. Nothing pass by her. She is present and in that way more successful). She has same conditions in a way but she chooses to see stars and endless opportunities. So what type of personality you want to be!?!? I think that drawings were beautiful and idea so simple but so lovely. I will give 5 stars and write this review just to remind myself when needed about this simple but easily forgotten truth.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    A really stunning book. The illustrations, and the overall appearance of this book is beautiful. I do think The Fox and the Star is better, in appearance and definitely in story. I didn't feel the message of this book as much as the previous one. And let's face it, a fox is usually going to be more attractive than a worm. But I still think it's a book worth having on your bookshelves. A really stunning book. The illustrations, and the overall appearance of this book is beautiful. I do think The Fox and the Star is better, in appearance and definitely in story. I didn't feel the message of this book as much as the previous one. And let's face it, a fox is usually going to be more attractive than a worm. But I still think it's a book worth having on your bookshelves.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was kind of depressing, which is probably why I liked it more than The Fox and The Star. It's a bit about mindfulness and the desire for solitude. It felt more like poetry than a picture book. This was kind of depressing, which is probably why I liked it more than The Fox and The Star. It's a bit about mindfulness and the desire for solitude. It felt more like poetry than a picture book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noura

    So soft. So familiar. So special. I am glad this exists.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rubal

    increased the rating from 3 to 3.5 stars because of https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... increased the rating from 3 to 3.5 stars because of https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fi's Journey

    3* stars for the aesthetic pleasing art but the text wasn't for me. Nothing special in that. 3* stars for the aesthetic pleasing art but the text wasn't for me. Nothing special in that.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan (ReadingRover)

    I read this book as soon as it came out. I loved it because the illustrations are gorgeous just like in the previous book by this author. I can’t freakin believe I didn’t review it when I did. The feathers and the bird illustrations are my favorite. I happen to adore starlings! 5 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    April Thompson

    Gawd, these illustrations though

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Waldman

    I didn't technically receive any books for Christmas, but I DID get money and used it to buy myself, among others, this gorgeous hardcover. I actually got 'The Fox & The Star' a couple of years ago from my sister and I really think I'm going to end up collecting Bickford-Smith's beautiful works! I'm a big fan of gorgeous art AND fairy tales, and her books combine both, becoming the perfect, short, Christmas read! I have to say, that I didn't like this one quite as much as 'The Fox & The Star' bec I didn't technically receive any books for Christmas, but I DID get money and used it to buy myself, among others, this gorgeous hardcover. I actually got 'The Fox & The Star' a couple of years ago from my sister and I really think I'm going to end up collecting Bickford-Smith's beautiful works! I'm a big fan of gorgeous art AND fairy tales, and her books combine both, becoming the perfect, short, Christmas read! I have to say, that I didn't like this one quite as much as 'The Fox & The Star' because I didn't fully understand it's message and fund it a little...depressing? It was supposed to be an 'appreciate things you have' kind of thing I THINK, but for me it almost said 'if you have a bad lot in life, put up with it and don't try to change it because it will probably all go horribly wrong'... That being said, I LOVED the art in this so much, that I found myself reading through it multiple times to take it all in. The attention to detail is exquisite and the way that the words are rendered on the page is clever too. These are great stories for children, though this one was a little sad and had no real 'ending' as such. I think stories are better when they have a clear message, which this did not, but it was, nevertheless, a beautiful addition to my bookshelves!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ceri

    Not a sequel in story, but perhaps a sequel in tone, the Worm and the Bird is the second stunning children's book by Coralie Bickford-Smith. If you were charmed by the first book, this second one will be better. If anything it surpases the first book not only in art but in the storytelling too. Poignant and layered and a little bittersweet (at least if you are an adult), it's added to by the use of metallic ink both on the cover and inside. It is beautiful. Not a sequel in story, but perhaps a sequel in tone, the Worm and the Bird is the second stunning children's book by Coralie Bickford-Smith. If you were charmed by the first book, this second one will be better. If anything it surpases the first book not only in art but in the storytelling too. Poignant and layered and a little bittersweet (at least if you are an adult), it's added to by the use of metallic ink both on the cover and inside. It is beautiful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Céline (lumierewhispers)

    4 🌟 With gorgeous illustrations and carefully chosen words, Coralie Bickford-Smith tells us a tale of hope and heart — one that will appeal to children and adults alike. Poetic and poignant, the Worm and the Bird talks about the many moments of one's life, the importance of connection, wonder, and how even the smallest instant can be magical. Thank you Penguin for sending me a copy of this beautiful book ! 4 🌟 With gorgeous illustrations and carefully chosen words, Coralie Bickford-Smith tells us a tale of hope and heart — one that will appeal to children and adults alike. Poetic and poignant, the Worm and the Bird talks about the many moments of one's life, the importance of connection, wonder, and how even the smallest instant can be magical. Thank you Penguin for sending me a copy of this beautiful book !

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christen

    This is a very short picture book. The word “picture” is an understatement as each page contains beautiful works of art. This simple storyline reminds the reader to appreciate the present and the treasures of your own life. I have never felt so related to an earthworm as I have when reading this book. Take 5 minutes out of your day to appreciate this gorgeous book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rogene Carter

    Unceasingly inspirational and beautiful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Beautiful art.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andreia

    Read at the Foyles bookshop in Southbank. The book is so beautiful and so fast and easy to read (hello picture books, my old friends) you won't be able to put it down before you finish it. The illustrations are amazing and I really wish I were a child who was learning how to read because this would definitely be my new favourite book. It's about a worm and a bird who are deeply wanting for something and a kind of metaphor about how every one of us is searching for whatever makes us whole at the Read at the Foyles bookshop in Southbank. The book is so beautiful and so fast and easy to read (hello picture books, my old friends) you won't be able to put it down before you finish it. The illustrations are amazing and I really wish I were a child who was learning how to read because this would definitely be my new favourite book. It's about a worm and a bird who are deeply wanting for something and a kind of metaphor about how every one of us is searching for whatever makes us whole at the same time as everyone else, resulting in a lack of space and opportunities but also on untamed dreams. Of course children won't get that part but that's the beauty of reading children's book as an adult. You are never too old and you are always wiser.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Not so sneakily read this all in Waterstones. Don't think the illustration is really that striking to want to buy a copy for myself, and I feel as if the Fox and the Star was more well crafted in the colour decision making and also played around with how the fox looked more than how the Worm and the Bird looked. Also I have a feeling Coralie Bickford-Smith maybe reused the print of the Bird for a few pages, just for a different colour and it felt a little lazy to me and didn't really deliver any Not so sneakily read this all in Waterstones. Don't think the illustration is really that striking to want to buy a copy for myself, and I feel as if the Fox and the Star was more well crafted in the colour decision making and also played around with how the fox looked more than how the Worm and the Bird looked. Also I have a feeling Coralie Bickford-Smith maybe reused the print of the Bird for a few pages, just for a different colour and it felt a little lazy to me and didn't really deliver anything original. I am a big fan of the bronze on the hardback though. The message of this picture book of things continuing in different forms was okay, I guess. I'm not quite sure of what a child would think of this picture book, but for me, it was a bit meh.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Nice book, well made and the pictures look amazing. The story though is no where near as good as the Fox and the Star, in fact it felt very babyish at times. Also missing are those bright orange colours, a worm just isn't bright enough to stand out. Highlight of the book those was the bird, watching and waiting for the worm, every other page featured the bird, in all weathers looking quite comical at times. That was my opinion, my daughter loved this book. If you haven't read the fox and the sta Nice book, well made and the pictures look amazing. The story though is no where near as good as the Fox and the Star, in fact it felt very babyish at times. Also missing are those bright orange colours, a worm just isn't bright enough to stand out. Highlight of the book those was the bird, watching and waiting for the worm, every other page featured the bird, in all weathers looking quite comical at times. That was my opinion, my daughter loved this book. If you haven't read the fox and the star then give that one a go.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heli

    Well, this one's an artwork! I was so absorbed by those lovely drawings and the choice of colour, that I plainly missed the message. But on flicking through the book for the second time, it really does have a simple but elementary and beautiful life lesson. Although I interpreted the story a little different than the cover description suggests. For me it was more like: do what ever makes you happy and don't postpone your dreams with excuses like i have no time and blabla... because you never kno Well, this one's an artwork! I was so absorbed by those lovely drawings and the choice of colour, that I plainly missed the message. But on flicking through the book for the second time, it really does have a simple but elementary and beautiful life lesson. Although I interpreted the story a little different than the cover description suggests. For me it was more like: do what ever makes you happy and don't postpone your dreams with excuses like i have no time and blabla... because you never know when your last day has come.

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