Picture Book Review: Scary Bird

Scary Bird is a clever story about being new and scary and accepting people. It follows the idea that everything is scary when it is unknown… and how to go about changing it.

The cheeky first page that comes before the title page

I loved this book so much – more than I thought I would actually.

It starts right from the very first end papers (which I loved! You might miss it if you weren’t paying attention) which shows a new bird in a bird box, peeking out the whole. Then on the actual title page we see a hand bringing the bird in through a cage (as you can see below).

What follows is that all the other birds are scared of this new bird, of course, because it is very different from them – it has spots and different feathers. It also sings different songs and speaks differently. First the other birds ignore and leave out this new terrifying bird, but then things start to change when one of the original birds decides to be a little daring, and perhaps even friendly.

The story is fantastic and not condescending in any way with a brilliant message – that is conveyed in the simplest of terms. I loved the pages on liking people for new things and the things they have different, particularly how the new ‘scary bird’ calls grubs ‘krupps’, it made it really fun to read out loud. “krupps”. The illustrations are wonderful and I loved the colours and think it was incredibly well done – especially as the entire story takes place inside a cage.

Scary Bird is a book for a wide audience and one that is poignant, easy to read and incredibly clever, and one we have read many times at home already. Highly recommend!


Title: Scary Bird

Author & Illustrator: Michel Streich

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 2020

Ages: 4-8

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