Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There are lots of different creatures that Mother Nature kindly shares with us. There are magpies, with their bold black and white colors; field mice, small and swift; beautifully colored butterflies; blue jays, sparrows, robins and so much more. Where can a child of Nature find these wonderful creatures? Outside, of course. And what an adventure they can create as people of all ages and all abilities, young at heart, learn what these creatures look like and what they can do, from singing to flying to scampering through the fields.
S. Lynn Helton’s picture book story, Bye-Bye Magpie, is cleverly written in Haiku style poetry with the three-line pattern of five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables. This in itself is a wonderful learning tool for young readers, to help them understand and appreciate this form of poetry and perhaps write some themselves. The colorful illustrations are delightful, showing children of all shapes, sizes, abilities and racial distinctions outdoors playing and observing the different creatures in Nature. There is a child in a wheelchair, one on crutches, and children with different skin colors. This is definitely an all-inclusive book. And, the best part is the encouragement for children to be outdoors, to just enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and all that Nature has to offer. The story begins with a greeting from the children to each creature, one at a time. At the end of the story, the end of the day when the sun starts to set, the children say goodbye to each creature, promising to return tomorrow. A wonderful, multi-dimensional teaching tool for young readers.