In the winter and spring of 2019-2020, I had the honor and delight of illustrating a novel by Newbery medalist Cynthia Voigt. Little Bird is “a timeless and classic novel of friendship and belonging,” as per the flap copy. Or, as I think of it, the coming-of-age story of a young crow.
Little Bird, our protagonist, is sent off on a quest that no one expects her to succeed in. Except, that is, for her friend Brutus, the goat. She encounters kindness, beauty, cruelty, humor, wisdom and foolishness, and friendship: so many new experiences! Some harsh realities that are neither kind nor cruel, but just are. And some beautiful realities that also just are.
She meets up with blue jays, squirrels, other crows, raccoons, sheep, turkeys, foxes, cows, chickens, dogs, and humans: so many new acquaintances!
So many opportunities for an illustrator! Here are some of my favorites:
One of the pleasures for me, as a writer and a reader, was seeing the difference between a late draft, which was sent to me to see if I would like to illustrate the book, and the final draft. I am not a writer’s-group-writer, so I don’t see this too often. What a pleasure to watch a master at work!
I hope you’ll want to read Little Bird. It’s now available everywhere books are sold: ask your local independent bookseller! If you don’t have one, it’s available at the Bookshop website, which supports independent booksellers! Here’s the link: