A Word’s a Bird, Spring Flies by in Rhymes, a book app of spring poems, illustrated with hand-painted watercolors, is free as a bird! Yes, right now it will cost you nothing to download this bilingual app (English/French) that makes metaphor, the heart and soul of poetry, visible to even the youngest children. By listening to the poems and playing with the animated pictures, they will see how a flowering shoot becomes a flute, how a bloom makes a cozy room for a bee. Older children and adults will enjoy the French option and touch-activated glossaries in both languages that define terms and illuminate the metaphors. Optional sound for non-readers. A School Library Journal “10 Best” of 2013.
A Word’s a Bird makes Nature come to life on your iPad. You can hear the real sounds of insects, birds, frogs, wind, water and more. Each short poem (title poem plus 3 more: April, May and June) is based on a rhymed metaphor and features animals and insects in their natural environment.
A Word’s a Bird slows down the frantic speed of most apps for children to fit the slower pace of Nature. The beauty of the illustrations, the meticulous work of the artists, and the interactive play combine to make a wondrous learning experience…
~ Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001-2003
The stunning illustrations, brought to life in the app, are hand-painted by Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie.
Behind the Book
Author Orel Protopopescu has decades of experience working with children as a poet in the schools. Holding up an orange, she once asked a kindergarten class to complete the phrase, “Round as…” A little girl said, “Round as love.” “How is love round?” Orel asked her. “Like this,” she said, making a circle with her arms, “when you hug someone.”
A former student, now an English teacher, recounted that two visits by the author to her elementary school had changed her life, awakening the poet in her. To touch the poet inside all children is the reason Orel wrote A Word’s a Bird. Accomplishing that is a dream come true. The remaining seasons have been written and recorded, though not yet developed as an app. As word spreads about the bird, there is hope the full project may be realized. Potential sponsors may inquire at http://www.awordsabird.com.
Why Kids Love the Book
Children delight in following the ever-present red cardinal, as he flits from poem to poem and turns up in unexpected places. One of the most popular features are the flowering shoots in the April poem. Readers can compose a tune on them, including chords (“a sweet whistling/ that calls for spring/ showers”) and then wait for the adorable ducklings to quack it right back, with perfect pitch. After the rain passes, you can compose another tune and another, for never-ending fun. Exploring the touch-activated glossaries opens up the world of metaphor in a whole new way, as well as imparting information about words, birds, pollination, sound waves, and a lot more.
Author website: www.orelprotopopescu.com
Illustrator website: http://www.jeannedesaintemarie.com/bio_eng.html