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I found this gorgeous picture book incredibly endearing. (It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I teared up at the end of it, so touched was I by the messaging and so deeply did it resonate with me).

From the very first notes, drifting across the park to her little feathered ears, Little Sydney Sparrow has fallen in love, wildly, with orchestral music and is now a bird with a dream – a huge dream – something no other songbird has ever dreamed and could ever hope to accomplish.

Sydney wants to be the heart of that music – to feel it ebb and flow in her rhythm and at her direction – she wants to become a music conductor.

With the wide-eyed innocence of the very young, where everything is still an un-tapped possibility, Sydney shares her dream with her family – eagerly, excitedly – and its no surprise to the reader that her parents are curtly dismissive.

Disappointed, but still undaunted, Sydney tries to engage others with her dream, including her teacher at school, and the message comes back loud and clear – her dream is outlandish and no-one in her circle is willing to support her.

I won’t tell you everything about how the story ends – you just have to read it – but it’s enough to say that this book totally captured my heart.

This tiny bird with a great big audacious dream, and the determination to just go for it, is truly delightful. And what a wonderful role model for any child, particularly those who have not yet felt the inevitable push to rein in their own starry dreams and settle, like everyone else, for what the world considers to be “acceptable” or “normal”.

And the artwork! The absolutely gorgeous artwork featured on every page of this book – starting with the brilliant and smudgy-soft bird nestled in red and gold leaves on the cover – every frame on every page is literally spectacular.

This is a book I will need to own – with no young children currently in my life – I do believe my inner child wants (and deserves!) this one all for itself.

A great big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, the author (and the artist), for an advance review copy of this sublime children’s book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts presented are my bow.


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