This story was a lovely parable about the nature of death in the life of a young child. Brooke absolutely adores her father and when he goes away on active duty for the military and doesn’t come home, she’s distraught. He promised her that he would come home to finish painting birds and woodland creatures on the mural in her bedroom but now he can never do that.
As you can tell from the synopsis, Brooke turns into a bird when she puts on the necklace she finds from her father following his death and when she doesn’t make it back home by sunrise as the note she finds with it instructs her to do, she cannot turn back into her human form.
While she is stuck in her bird form, she feels an even greater sense of helplessness than she’s been feeling since the death of her father. She finds that making new friends eases her burden, especially when faced by a greater evil hat stands between her and becoming human again to rejoin her family.
She meets Roy, a kind young bird who teaches her how to use her wings and shares with her the loss of his father and Timmy, a mouse with his own sad story who teaches her to think about the feelings of her family as well as her own.
The message in this story comes through loud and clear, that friends and family are important in times of bereavement and that though the pain feels personal and lonely, other people have gone through the same thing too and others may be sharing in your grief.
What I like most about this story is that it doesn’t come across as sad, it is the story of a child on a magical adventure and coming across challenges but coming through the other side. The fairytale quality of the writing takes the edge off the painful topic and feels comfortably familiar.
I would definitely recommend this story for a primary aged child going through a bereavement or even to children in general to help them understand the concept of loss.
Rebecca Greene brought a great energy which would easily keep a child’s attention and lightened the mood of the story. Her character voices were very entertaining and she made Brooke’s grief seem very real, her performance and the production quality of this audiobook were second to none.