The Bicklebys' Birdbath

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
9.42 X 10.34 X 0.41 inches | 0.96 pounds

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About the Author

Andrea Perry is also the author of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe and The Snack Smasher. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Roberta Angaramo lives in Italy. She has illustrated a version of the Hans Christan Anderson classic, The Ugly Duckling. Visit her on


In addition to blue birds, yellow birds, and orange birds, there's a mailman in the Bicklebys' birdbath. He wouldn't be there if the girl with the garden hose hadn't sprayed some nest-building crows, and, in the tradition of This Is the House That Jack Built, one incident snowballs into another and, in this case, results in a soaked mailman. Although the chain of events causes havoc in the Bicklebys' yard, everyone from the moose to the goose to the lawn-mowing boy pitches in to restore order. Set in the summer, in a yard of green grass and blooming flowers, this enjoyable read-aloud contains plenty of rhyme, lots of brightly colored illustrations (rendered in acrylics), and one very cute white goose with great balance.-- School Library Journal
This jaunty cumulative tale has a pleasingly playful complexity, both in the wording and in its sense of time. Perry concocts a rhythmic text with unexpected twists and turns, and rather than moving the story forward, it works backward. The Bicklebys' birdbath is a ramshackle affair, cracked and leaking, though clearly loved by the birds it serves, birds that stare back at readers with startling engagement. Angaramo's lush artwork follows the action as the mailman demolishes the birdbath after being chased by a goose that had been startled by a moose. The story lopes along, with a flock / full of curious crows / that spruced up their nest / with the buttons and bows / that came from the scarecrow / in nifty new clothes / that fell in the yard where the / long green grass grows. Meanwhile, the illustrations catch the unraveling of the adventure-at one point the mailman is just a blip on the horizon, deep in the future-until the narrative flips into real time and a new birdbath makes an appearance. Sweetly clever. --Kirkus Reviews