Blark!” may be a nonsense word to the real world, but in the picture book Little Bird’s Bad Word by Jacob Grant it has a very definite place as a cuss word. Little Bird and Dad are flying along with Little Bird under wing and Dad holding a worm. Lunch is extra wiggly that day, and Dad drops the worm. He inadvertently says, “blark!” and Little Bird, at an age when he is learning lots of new words, picks this one up right away. Even though Dad says this is not a word for little birds, his young one thinks he can be a big bird by using his newfound term with his friends. So off Little Bird flies and startles frog, renders moose speechless, and upsets fish and ladybug. But Little Bird’s best friend Turtle is scared and hides away in his shell. It is then Little Bird finally realizes maybe the new word is bad. Dad is there to explain to Little Bird that words can be hurtful and the two go around apologizing to everyone. Many parents out there are probably remembering a time in their lives with children when unwanted new words were learned. A final page in the story puts a humorous (to parents) touch on the story, and this can be a great starting point for a discussion with your kids on what real life words can be harmful. The illustrations are done softly, but in bright colors with colored charcoal and the book’s length is short enough to keep the attention of even younger listeners.
You can get more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit.