Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Review: Stellina

The True Story of Stellina tells the tale of an abandoned baby finch found in New York.

Matteo Pericoli narrates and illustrates the life of Stellina, from her discovery on the corner of 46th and Third "in the middle of the day" to her eventual death eight years later. The True Story of Stellina is a lovely book, released this month by Random House.

What I especially appreciate about Stellina is that Pericoli tells his tale as an adult would speak to a highly intelligent child. In other words, despite the presence of many "cheeps" and a few "roars," Pericoli does not talk down to his audience. Instead, Pericoli presents a love story, the story of his wife Holly and her love for the little bird. Stellina accompanies Holly on all her everyday activities--on the subway, to the office, to dance class, while playing music. It is a happy relationship, one children will find attractive and comforting.

Pericoli's illustrations are evocative of a happy, urban life, full of activities and the arts. Stellina is a charming, peaceful book for the 4-8-year-old audience.