The Lion and the Bird

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc The Lion and the Bird (Enchanted Lion, 2014)

by Marianne Dubuc

A lion and a bird are not the most obvious of friends. One big, shaggy, and growly, and one small, sleek, and flit-about-y.

But not these two. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc This lion has rosy cheeks which are insta-endearing and wanders out to his work. Just a lion, working in the garden. That’s when he spots an injured bird. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc Same insta-endearing rosy cheeks.

The lion springs to action. The bird smiles, but the flock has flown away. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc Marianne Dubuc varies the art on the page. Some spot illustrations, some full-bleed. This paces the small, quiet action of the story – the spots create sequential scenes on one spread, moving us forward in time, a full-bleed image slows us down into one moment on the same physical space. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc The Lion and the Bird by Marianne DubucThe two spend the winter together, ice-fishing and fire-watching. It’s cold. But:

Winter doesn’t feel all that cold with a friend. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

No more spots, no more full-bleed. Only white space.

We slow way down. We worry about what’s to come.

But Spring has to come. The flock has to return.

The page turn here is filled with emotion. We see the lion saying a bittersweet goodbye. (How he’s holding his hat in honor is just the most beautiful thing.) The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc And then, as if we are the flock, he gets smaller. Farther away. Lots of white space. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc Time goes on. (Sometimes the seasons are like that.)

But then. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc A flock of birds. A single note in the white space.

Winter returns, and so does his friend.

In this book, white space moves the story and white space is the story. The moments that seem the most like nothing might actually be the moments that are the most something.

That bird’s solitary trill piercing the air reminds me a bit of this art installation. It’s a combination of movement, music, and art that leaves room for the story in the space left behind. This reminds me of the lion, waiting and listening and hoping.

ch

 

PS: I’m heading to Las Vegas this weekend for ALA. Will you be there? Would love to say hello!

 Review copy provided by the publisher. All thoughts my own.

11 Comments

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Beautiful.

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Delicious Duluc!

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    So poetic !

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I think this is exquisite!

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    That’s the best word for it!

  • Posted July 22, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    thank you carterhiggins. Please let me know what you think of my Stories of Willow….they are written in freestyle, without caprice – and I am looking to proof them and get them illustrated. Tell me what you think. You have an eye – tell me what Willow looks like. I would greatly value your feedback.

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Antonia Gialerakis and commented:
    To anyone who is reading my Stories of Willow – new story of Willow is on its way too – but meanwhile, just take a look t this! Isn’t it wonderful….

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carter Higgins, I very much enjoy your blog when it pops into my inbox, and loved to see that you reviewed this book. I have a two and half year old granddaughter whom I adore. We live at a distance from each other, so have many sad partings and joyful reunions. I bought this book to leave with her when last I left – so many things to love in it “And so it goes. Sometimes life is like that.” and the wonderful winter scenes of shared life.
    Wishing you a great weekend with all those book people!

  • Posted June 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Katy, that is a wonderful story. Sad and sweet all at once. Thanks for the nice words, too!

  • Posted June 28, 2014 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    This is such a melancholy-beautiful book, your heart just pours into those white spaces! And a really lovely post about it too, thanks for sharing :)

  • Posted June 28, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on MADA ESTUDIO DANZA and commented:
    Bella composicion de danza y Diseño digital