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Beautiful Blackbird

Author: Ashley Bryan

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5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

ISBN: 9780689847318

Publisher: Antheneum Books for Young Readers

Binding: Hardcover

Year Distributed: 2022-2023

Availability: Current Books

Themes/Topics: Colors, Animals

Maine Based
Book Acticity

Long ago, Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, were so envious that they begged Blackbird to paint their feathers with a touch of black so they could be beautiful too. Although Blackbird warns them that true beauty comes from within, the other birds persist and soon each is given a ring of black around their necks or a dot of black on their wings - markings that detail birds to this very day. Black is beautiful, un-huh!

Age Group 5 years

What’s Happening at this Age

  • Matching each letter to the sound it represents
  • Identifying the beginning, middle, and ending sounds in spoken words like dog or sit
  • Saying new words by changing the beginning sound, like changing rat to sat
  • Starting to match words they hear to words they see on the page
  • Sounding out simple words
  • Starting to recognize some words by sight without having to sound them out
  • Asking and answering who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about a story
  • Retelling a story in order, using words or pictures
  • Predicting what happens next in a story

Your child likely will learn all the letters and their sounds this year. Some combinations of letters are still tricky for children to hear but they’re learning all the time. By making these connections, your child can also start to write and decode some easy words and begin reading short books to you. Their comprehension of what’s going on in the more complex stories you are reading to them will help them understand the simple stories they can read themselves. Continuing to read to your child, even when they’re able to read, will give you both a chance to talk about more complicated books and continue the beautiful relationship you started together 5 years ago. Reading together can still be the very best part of the day for you and your child!

Click here to see a full list of milestones for your 5-year-old as well as tips and activities for you and your child!

Book Acticity
Related Activities

10 Ways to Explore Beautiful Blackbird: Click to download our suggestions for simple (and fun!) activities for this favorite Raising Readers book.

This custom Raising Readers edition includes a letter printed in the front of the book specially for Maine 5 year old’s from Ashley Bryan:

Hello, friends!

What an exciting time it is, turning FIVE! One of the best things about turning five is that you get to pick more of your OWN books! What a wonderful thing.

I published my very first book when I was five, in kindergarten. After we learned the alphabet, we drew pictures for each letter.

When we reached the letter Z, the teacher gave us colored paper to make a cover for our alphabet pictures. Then we sewed the pages all together, and the teacher said, “You have just published an alphabet book! You are the author, the illustrator and the binder. Take it home.” We then made number books, word books, and books of whatever we learned. I got hugs, kisses, and applause from family and friends for these books. The teacher called these “rave reviews,” and this has inspired me to make gifts of books ever since.

I’ve now many dozens and dozens of books to add to the hundreds and hundereds you can now choose at your library. Oh, the choices you have when you are five!

This book, BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, is very special to me. I used colored paper, just like I did when I was five. And I cut all the artwork using scissors that belonged to my mother. You can see those scissors at the front of the book. I always felt like my mother was helping me give the very best I have to offer with my writing and my artwork. And BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD tells the story of Blackbird’s generous sharing of his gifts with others. Everyone is happy when we share the best we have to offer.

One of the greatest gifts we can give is sharing what we have made with others. I share my book with you. Imagine what you, now five, can share with others!

Peace Love Joy,
Ashley Bryan


Everyone is Beautiful

April 28, 2023

An amazing book by an amazing artist, this book tells us how we are all beautiful and all ultimately changed for the better by those we meet.


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