Magpie Magic: 10/17/11
Around the start of third grade my son discovered wordless picture books. Previously he had been embarrassed to read them when he was struggling to catch up with his reading proficiency. By third grade though he was back on track and moving towards being an advanced reader. With those new skills came a new found confidence, one that allowed him the chance to enjoy the art of wordless books without feeling like he was cheating.
One of the first books he found and fell in love with was Magpie Magic by April Wilson. A young looking hand draws a magpie and does such a masterful job of it, it comes alive. The rest of the book is the unnamed artist's interactions with the bird, including trying to cage it and trying to erase it.
The bird though usually wins these artistic battles with his creator. When he's caged, he finds a way to erase some of the bars. When he's nearly erased he finds a way to redraw himself.
Throughout the illustrations are delightful, rendered in colored pencil. My son and daughter both went through the book about a half dozen times each, including having some one on one debates about what was happening the different pictures.