A tiny paper bird shares a home with humans in this wondrously illustrated debut, introducing a sensitive, creative soul who ventures into the belly of the beast to rescue a new friend.
She’s just a tiny slip of paper, a doodle cut in the shape of a bird. She isn’t sure who made her or how she came to be, or if the family she lives with even knows she is there. She turns found objects into things of beauty—sometimes leaving them for the child of the house to discover—and invents riveting tales to tell to the wall outlet. And now, in her grandest adventure yet, the dauntless artist makes something thoroughly unexpected: a friend. With spare prose and luminous paintings, Ruth Whiting introduces a delicate 2D character navigating an oversize world—a reality just on the edges of our own.
About the Author
Ruth Whiting is an artist and maker with a diverse body of work. For Lonely Bird,she created elaborate stage sets that she photographed and rendered as oil paintings. Born in England to Australian parents, her travels and history are reflected in her art: the house Lonely Bird lives in is an echo of her childhood lived across three continents, and the striped patch used to mend the character Wigglet is made from a French electrical tape the illustrator became attached to when she lived in Paris as a child. Ruth Whiting and her husband, the artist and kite designer Tim Elverston, now live in Florida with their son.
Whiting illustrates in naturalistic oil paintings, with the winsome, minimalist Lonely Bird collaged into the spreads. Reminiscent of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, the story’s drama unfolds at the margins of human domesticity and never shakes off its tender melancholy. —Publishers Weekly
Visually, Whiting’s picture-book debut is a charmer. . . engaging. —Kirkus Reviews
The look of the book — 2D black-and-white doodle wandering through the full-color world of painted illustrations — is gorgeous, and the wistful Lonely Bird, making art for art’s sake, invites young artists to let their own imaginations go for a walk. —The Virginian Pilot
The publisher suggests this book for ages 4-8, but the 2-dimensional hero will appeal to a dreamy high schooler, too. . . Whiting has illustrated how an artist might work alone, but she isn’t working in a vacuum. Her creativity engages the larger, humane world. —The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette