Posts Tagged ‘Mattias De Leeuw’

Azizi and the little blue bird

By Laila Koubaa

Illustrated by Mattias De Leeuw

ISBN 9780994109866

Book Island

Translated by David Colmer


This book ticks lots of boxes and is ideal for parents and teachers to share with children. It is a large, portrait sized hardback picture book which tells the story of a land where greedy rulers have caused havoc and forced their people to hide in fear, shrunken away almost into oblivion. Even all the blue birds are caught and kept in cages because the rulers demand their capture and imprisonment. Life is harsh under the rulers might.  The land is hot and dry and the illustrator’s choice of burnt orange and yellows reflects this perfectly.

BI_AziziLittleBlueBird_first spread

I also love the pictures with the jasmine and in this large format, it seems as if the jasmine is indeed climbing the walls and blooming everywhere.

                       Azizi lives in a country governed by greedy rulers, who capture all blue birds and lock them up in a big cage in the courtyard of their palace. The people suffer and live in fear,    until one day a little blue bird escapes from the cage.  Together with Azizi it sets out on a long journey to free the people of their cruel and relentless rulers.

The story unfolds in a fable-like way so that readers can see the consequences of greed but also when one little bird escapes, they also see how one thing, or one person can make a difference. It only takes one person or in this case, one bird to stand up and say enough! One person can take the first step to make change happen.

Greed, arrogance and even bullying all play a part in this story but it is also simply a story to enjoy especially when  Azizi finds friendship and then hope with a little blue bird.

It is also great to see a story set in another time and place and bringing in cultrually diverse characters, which is so important for young readers today, given how connected we all are now.

For teachers there are some great notes here to make the most of this story. Definitely one to add to your school library collection.