by Patrick McDonnell
42 pages, 2008
I love reading wordless books with my four-year-old daughter - when the pictures tell the story, it means she can read to me. With South I spent the first few pages telling her what was going on, but once the setting was clear, she happily took over with only occasional help from dad.
South is by the creator of the comic strip Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, who imports one of the strip's characters into this comic-like book: Mooch the cat. Now cats might not seem all that sympathetic to birds, but when Mooch comes upon a poor cute little bird who, we see, has been left behind by his flock when they headed south, Mooch lends a paw. Mooch really is a stand-up sort of cat, so he takes bird under his wing (so to say) and the two of them set out to reunite this lost little one with his family. Since cats can't fly, the journey takes place on foot.
Soon enough bird is united with flock, and it comes time for Mooch and bird to say their goodbyes. It was at this point that my daughter was a bit overcome - goodbyes are always hard to say. But we reassured her that Mooch and bird would see each other again, when Winter turned to Spring.
This is a fun little book, that might be best described as a 38 panel wordless comic strip. So it is a very quick read, and might be the sort of book that is better to borrow than to buy. But I sure hope your library has it!
If you do want to pick up a copy, you can get it at Amazon.com here, and Amazon.ca here.