Cuckoo by Lois Ehlert is a retelling of a Mexican folktale about how the cuckoo got its black feathers. The book is written in both English and Spanish and uses traditional styles of Mexican arts and crafts for its illustrations.
When the book begins Cuckoo is shunned by the other birds. She is colorful and loves to sing. She's so busy singing she doesn't think to help the other birds save their seeds for the winter. For this she is called vain.
But when a fire comes, Cuckoo is given a chance to prove herself. She loses her beautiful voice and her colorful plumage but she gains something in return.
My children are divided on Cuckoo. My son considers it one of his favorite picture books. My daughter, while she likes the bright illustrations, found the story too long for her tastes. I'm somewhere in the middle. I love the illustrations and I liked the English text but the Spanish translation lost some of the rhythm in the process. Certainly the meaning but the simple English became a tongue twister in Spanish.