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Author/illustrator: Anahita Teymorian
Age: 2+
Key stage: 0

A Bird Like Himself is now out in paperback! Published in hardback in 2015, it was praised by Outside In World as ‘a heart-warming story about the value of feeling loved and finding and celebrating your gifts and individualities’, and ‘a charming tale of parental love and growing up’ by Creative Steps magazine. It’s a perfect book for exploring these themes with young children.

Although it’s primarily for very young readers, it’s a visual treat for adults too. Award-winning artist Anahita Teymorian’s illustrations are not only beautiful, but wonderfully funny too; they tell a whole extra story, above and beyond the printed words. Look closely at Baby’s flying lessons, and you’ll spot compasses, ladders and mathematical diagrams. There’s a surprise near the end that reveals where the animals have been living … and one final picture shows what happens next!

First and foremost, this is a story about family love. Parents and guardians are bound to sympathise with the witty but touching observation that ‘the animals didn’t always get it right, but they did love that fat little chick’. But it’s about growing up too, and watching your own Baby fly away is a bittersweet joy that can be appreciated by all.

A Bird Like Himself

And the best way of all to sum up the book is in the words of Anahita Teymorian herself: ‘Until you fall in love, nothing is real. … You have everything, but you’re still alone. Everybody loves you, but you’re not yourself. … It’s as if you are not you, until you begin to love.’

  • A Bird Like Himself as described by the Guardian reader
  • blog: Who am I? The importance of identity in children’s books

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