A Canadian children’s literature journal, CM, finally reviews BIRD:
Bird is a sensitive and realistic story written in a free-form poetic style. The text is wonderfully spare, yet evocative of the range of emotions with which its young narrator deals. It is rare for an author to address problems of drugs and family life as Zetta Eliott does in her first picture book. Although some might say that Bird’s obsession with art is “escaping,” it is perhaps more accurate to say that his drawing helps him to make sense of the world around him. Shadra Strickland’s mixed media illustrations depicting not only the characters and setting of the story, but also the young protagonist’s drawings, are outstanding. This year, Bird won several awards for the talented artist, including the Jack Ezra Keats award and the Coretta King John Steptoe Award for New Talent. It is the first children’s book for both writer and illustrator. All those who share books with young readers will hope that it is the first of many.