This is the tale of a journey, or rather, more than one journey.
The first journey is that of a bird small enough to fit into your hand, a bird that pays young Alfie a visit one September morning as he stands in his garden. The tiny bird then flies away across the fields heading towards the sea and thence south for the winter. Bird continues flying over snow-clad mountains towards the desert. There at an oasis, hungry and tired the tiny creature rests briefly and is welcomed by a girl named Leila who offers a much-needed drink.
The next part of the journey is through a jungle, then over plains and grasslands until a lake comes into sight. It’s the Bird’s African home – at last. Summer passes in a flash and it seems little time before Bird must bid the children farewell before starting the return journey.
Back over grasslands and plains towards the desert where she’d met Leila, but when she looks for the girl at her oasis home, she isn’t there. Bird continues her journey across the ocean where a mighty storm rages, tossing so we see, a tiny boat with people huddled close together.
Exhausted, Bird pauses to rest in a mountain village then continues on over fields, the sea, the beach, fields, back to the town where her round journey had begun. It’s a warm April morning when she receives not one, but two greetings for there is Leila so far from home, and across the fence is Alfie. Both are excited to see the returning Bird: a joyful reunion indeed.
We see much more than we’re told in this softly spoken, poignant tale of flight, of searching, and of finding a place to call home. This beautiful book will resonate long after its covers have been closed.