A Funny Little Bird

A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes

(published 2013, by Sourcebooks)

Jennifer just won the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators at their 2013 exhibition, The Original Art! Huge congrats! Good eye, jury.

A bird, a fable, and eyes that look past what’s seen to the heart of it all. That’s what’s wrapped up in these pages. I wrote these words about another story recently, but it’s truth here, too: It’s spare, but soars.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

This little bird is almost invisible, and he’s had it. He marches off with soggy, scraggly   claw-steps, and face to almost-face with a magnificent bird. This is when his love affair with beautiful things begins. Because with a collection of beautiful things, he gets noticed.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Negative space is a funny thing, just like this little bird. It’s a puzzle in plain sight, a double-take, and then a heart-smile when you get it. And illusion. An allusion.

In contrast to the stark and white expanses, the color is a splash. Vibrant patterns and saturated colors all unbound by expressive lines. It’s a mashup of flair and restraint, and it will hypnotize you.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

And while you explore this aesthetic playground, settle in a bit with this bird. You won’t be alone.


P.S. – Other books I love with an exploration of negative space? Black and White and Round Trip!

Thanks to Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky for the images in this post.


  • Posted November 5, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Love this funny little negative space bird!!

  • Posted November 5, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I just got this book from the library this morning and- yes – fell in instant love! Great selection, Carter. And I may still feature it on perfect picture book Friday. :) It deserves a lot of attention.

  • Sheila Kelly Welch
    Posted November 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this review. Such a simple concept with just the right touch. I’ll have to locate the book. The other examples you mentioned are wonderful, too. ROUND TRIP! is amazing, and I think uses negative space more than BLACK AND WHITE.

    Love your blog, Carter. I found it because you posted a reply to a comment I made on the SLJ Heavy Medal blog. Thanks!