Barb the Bird of Hope – written and illustrated by Zowie Norris
This tells the story of a beautiful bird called Barb who lives in a laburnum tree in Bretton Park. The bright yellow bird with purple tail feathers is the star of both the story and the gorgeous illustrations in this book. Her difference to the other birds (usually of the grey, brown and black varieties) brings hope to many, reminding them of brighter days and happier times.
It is a short book at only 44 pages, so a quick story to read, yet there is so much in it. It is suitable for all ages and I found it a moving story, beautifully told. It would be ideal for children struggling with the fears of a pandemic, as it deals with lockdown and the changes we have had to deal with over the past couple of years, but in a very positive and hopeful way. There is nothing to scare anyone in these pages, only beauty, joy and seeing the best in every situation. The drawings are also a joy – bright, colourful and charming with lovely details.
It’s a truly stunning book.