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Summer and Bird

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Sisters Summer and Bird are separated and go in very different directions as they seek their missing parents. All the while, they try to vanquish the evil Puppeteer, lead the talking birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen in this enchantingNand twistedNtale.

Customer Review Snapshot

3.6 out of 5 stars
10 total reviews
5 stars
1
4 stars
6
3 stars
1
2 stars
2
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
I found it very difficult to get into Summer and Bird, and reading it continuously felt like a long uphill slog. The plot was slow and distant, so it seemed like it took me forever to read just a few pages in which nothing much happened. I found the characters mostly unrelatable, as, even for children, they seemed very petty and immature. Their mindsets and behaviors actually made this a fairly depressing read because there wasn't much optimism and healing, just emotional pain and anger. About the only thing that kept the novel interesting for me was the incorporation of the Swan Maiden motif and folksongs into the storyline; the author was quite creative in how she adapted the traditional tale to be told from two viewpoints largely neglected in the original.

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Sisters Summer and Bird are separated and go in very different directions as they seek their missing parents. All the while, they try to vanquish the evil Puppeteer, lead the talking birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen in this enchantingNand twistedNtale. An enchanting--and twisted--tale of two sisters' quest to find their parents

When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods, but comfortable sights quickly give way to a new world entirely--Down--one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Summer and Bird are quickly separated, and their divided hearts lead them each in a very different direction in the quest to find their parents, vanquish the Puppeteer, lead the birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen.

With breathtaking language and deliciously inventive details, Katherine Catmull has created a world unlike any other, skillfully blurring the lines between magic and reality and bringing to life a completely authentic cast of characters and creatures.

Specifications

Publisher
Penguin Young Readers Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
352
Author
Katherine Catmull
ISBN-13
9780142425053
Publication Date
August, 2014
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.78 x 5.09 x 0.89 Inches
ISBN-10
0142425052

Customer Reviews

5 stars
1
4 stars
6
3 stars
1
2 stars
2
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
1 customers found this helpful
I found it very diffic...
I found it very difficult to get into Summer and Bird, and reading it continuously felt like a long uphill slog. The plot was slow and distant, so it seemed like it took me forever to read just a few pages in which nothing much happened. I found the characters mostly unrelatable, as, even for children, they seemed very petty and immature. Their mindsets and behaviors actually made this a fairly depressing read because there wasn't much optimism and healing, just emotional pain and anger. About the only thing that kept the novel interesting for me was the incorporation of the Swan Maiden motif and folksongs into the storyline; the author was quite creative in how she adapted the traditional tale to be told from two viewpoints largely neglected in the original.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
the premise of this bo...
the premise of this book had me quite excited. Two sisters wake to find their parents have disappeared, as well as their cat. They find a picture note hidden in a closet that has never been opened before and believe it leads them through the gate and into the woods to find their parents. The main villain is a creepy woman who wishes to be a bird, consuming them in order to make herself more like them. I got through approximately 60 pages of this book - maybe more - before I had to stop. I just could not get into it. I found that it was scattered. Additionally, I was confused over what to make of the characters. Summer is completely unlikeable, rude and condescending. Worst of all, she knows it, and will often say the reasoning behind the way she speaks (she's hurt, jealous, etc). This does not make it okay, and therefore, I found her difficult to listen to and impossible to relate to. However, in a different, strange way, I also felt bad for her, because it was clear that Bird was favored not only by her parents (though her father doesn't even think of them when he's leaving) but by the narrator. While Bird comes off as mysterious and strange, she also gets to share a connection with her mother. Meanwhile, Summer's only connection is that she is NOT connected to her mother or Bird. The narrator also continually paints Summer to look like a negative shrew, mean to her younger sister and quite clueless as to how to function as a decent human being. I see the book got another favorable review, but as a children's librarian I wouldn't recommend this book. If I'm looking for a book that features a relateable character for a female, this would not be my first, second, or 100th choice. Perhaps I need to give it another chance, but if I'm not into a children's book by 60 pages, I'd rather pass on it.
Most helpful positive review
1 customers found this helpful
I found it very diffic...
I found it very difficult to get into Summer and Bird, and reading it continuously felt like a long uphill slog. The plot was slow and distant, so it seemed like it took me forever to read just a few pages in which nothing much happened. I found the characters mostly unrelatable, as, even for children, they seemed very petty and immature. Their mindsets and behaviors actually made this a fairly depressing read because there wasn't much optimism and healing, just emotional pain and anger. About the only thing that kept the novel interesting for me was the incorporation of the Swan Maiden motif and folksongs into the storyline; the author was quite creative in how she adapted the traditional tale to be told from two viewpoints largely neglected in the original.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
the premise of this bo...
the premise of this book had me quite excited. Two sisters wake to find their parents have disappeared, as well as their cat. They find a picture note hidden in a closet that has never been opened before and believe it leads them through the gate and into the woods to find their parents. The main villain is a creepy woman who wishes to be a bird, consuming them in order to make herself more like them. I got through approximately 60 pages of this book - maybe more - before I had to stop. I just could not get into it. I found that it was scattered. Additionally, I was confused over what to make of the characters. Summer is completely unlikeable, rude and condescending. Worst of all, she knows it, and will often say the reasoning behind the way she speaks (she's hurt, jealous, etc). This does not make it okay, and therefore, I found her difficult to listen to and impossible to relate to. However, in a different, strange way, I also felt bad for her, because it was clear that Bird was favored not only by her parents (though her father doesn't even think of them when he's leaving) but by the narrator. While Bird comes off as mysterious and strange, she also gets to share a connection with her mother. Meanwhile, Summer's only connection is that she is NOT connected to her mother or Bird. The narrator also continually paints Summer to look like a negative shrew, mean to her younger sister and quite clueless as to how to function as a decent human being. I see the book got another favorable review, but as a children's librarian I wouldn't recommend this book. If I'm looking for a book that features a relateable character for a female, this would not be my first, second, or 100th choice. Perhaps I need to give it another chance, but if I'm not into a children's book by 60 pages, I'd rather pass on it.
1-5 of 10 reviews

I loved this book. It ...

I loved this book. It is a beautifully written fantasy novel that combines the selkie legend and an alternate fantasy world of talking birds. It will definitely be a slow-burn kind of book as the concept may seem too "babyish" for older tweens and teens, talking animals and all, but conceptually it will require a more mature reader. It is a darker read, taking on tween/teen things like sibling rivalry but also much harsher things like the stealing of souls and a mother's choice between the family she was forced to remain with but still loves and her true form and kingdom. It is slow, but the beautiful writing and relationship between Summer and Bird make this book totally worth it.

I found it very diffic...

I found it very difficult to get into Summer and Bird, and reading it continuously felt like a long uphill slog. The plot was slow and distant, so it seemed like it took me forever to read just a few pages in which nothing much happened. I found the characters mostly unrelatable, as, even for children, they seemed very petty and immature. Their mindsets and behaviors actually made this a fairly depressing read because there wasn't much optimism and healing, just emotional pain and anger. About the only thing that kept the novel interesting for me was the incorporation of the Swan Maiden motif and folksongs into the storyline; the author was quite creative in how she adapted the traditional tale to be told from two viewpoints largely neglected in the original.

Summer and Bird, Kathe...

Summer and Bird, Katherine Catmull's first novel (2012) tells the story of two sisters who search for their missing parents, along the way learning about their own true "heart-songs." I appreciate the poetic voice this story is told in, and at times was transfixed with the beautiful language about the strange bird-world, called "Down" in this book. I didn't always understand exactly what was happening, but I loved imagining what the author had in mind when she described characters like the Puppeteer, who desired so much to be a bird herself that she ate birds and learned bird dances, or the world of the "Green Home" where as long as you spoke your true heart, beautiful things around you would be created, right before your eyes. This was also a dark book and challenged the reader to battle some difficult questions, like what it would be like to lose your mother, or be responsible for the death of a sibling. I would recommend this for older readers, middle and high schoolers, especially people who like to read dark fantasy stories about nature and birds.

Summer and Bird are tw...

Summer and Bird are two very different sisters. One is fair while the other is dark and bird-like. However, when the girls wake up one morning to discover that their parents are missing, they set off into the forest together to find them. Along the way they encounter a magical patchwork bird, whose song leads them to the world of Down. In this frozen and barren world, the girls choose very different paths. Through different circumstances Summer and Bird learn about the Swan Queen, who is the queen of all birds and has been missing for thirteen years. In the Swan Queen's absence an evil woman known as the Puppeteer has taken up residence in the Swan Queen's castle. While the bird-eating Puppeteer longs to be the queen of birds, she knows that she can never reach that goal without the true queen's robe of feathers. As each girl sets out to find the Swan Queen and her true heir, Bird falls under the spell of the evil Puppeteer. Meanwhile, millions of birds long to reach the long lost Green Home, but only the Swan Queen can lead them there. Without the queen, the birds face certain death. Summer and Bird must make their choices carefully in the quest to defeat the evil Puppeteer, find the queen, and save millions of birds, but time is quickly running out. The Bottom Line: "Summer and Bird" is an enchanting read about two sisters who must find their own paths in life. Katherine Catmull paints with words to create a magical world filled with fantasy and longing. Throughout the story the girls learn about the importance of family and to trust their instincts. Both girls struggle to learn that there is more than one way of looking at something and that sometimes the truth is hard to hear. Anyone who has ever secretly dreamed of being a princess will enjoy Catmull's debut book. Also, the fairy tale quality and flowery writing style will appeal to girls in middle school. This story vaguely reminded me of several fairy tales, but especially of the Japanese tale, The Crane Wife; thus, I enjoyed the bittersweet ending.

This novel is a story ...

This novel is a story about two young sisters who are named Summer and Bird. One day their parents disappear, and their mother leaves behind a letter written in pictures. Summer and Bird interpret the pictures as a message to mean that they should follow quickly after her, and so they set out into the wilderness alone. Summer is the elder of the sisters, and tries to be the practical and responsible one, bringing along food and matches for their journey. Bird, though younger, has a better sense of where to go in the forest because of her unique connection to nature and her ability to understand bird song. Soon Bird leads them to a portal to another world - a path that goes "Down." From this point on in the book the story is very much like old fables and fairy tales in that it has magical creatures, fantastical events, and quests full of danger. An evil woman has found her way to this world and is trying to steal the throne away from the bird queen. Summer and Bird must use their knowledge of birdsong and keep their wits about them as not all of the birds are trustworthy. There is a lot of symbolism in the story and the girls have to learn many times that everything that they encounter can have different meanings (maps, songs, eggs, stories, etc.) It is a magical tale that I think will appeal to those who appreciate the whimsical. Sometimes the story seems to meander a little bit, and there were a couple of times where I was mystified as to what was going on, but it did all make sense in the end. I thought that the story was charming on the whole, and it reminded me strongly of fables that I read as a child. Although the ending was not one of perfect happiness, it did make sense logically for all of the characters. I might have wished for a more warm-fuzzy ending, but that would not have been true to the nature of the story and characters. Instead it was a mostly-happy ending with a touch of melancholy and the promise that the characters would continue to grow in goodness in the future. The story is appropriate for children, and I am considering reading it to my sons (once we finish with the Rick Riordan books). It will be a different type of book for them, a little bit slower and a lot more symbolism and layered themes to dig through, but at its heart it really is a children's fable.

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Electrode, Comp-283025145, DC-prod-dfw7, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-fa894c3f-b2f-16efcb19160e35, Generated: Fri, 13 Dec 2019 00:38:46 GMT