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Book review: Caldecott Medal winner publishes new picture book 'Hello, My Name is Ruby'

Published: Sunday, Sept. 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

HELLO, MY NAME IS RUBY,” by Philip C. Stead, Roaring Brook Press, $16.99 (ages 2-6)

Ruby is looking for a friend. As she approaches a variety of feathered possibilities, she announces herself: “My name is Ruby. Would you like to come flying?”

Ruby meets acceptance (she flies with a heron) and rejection (the peacock-like bird stalks away, saying, “No, thank you!”)

When she questions a bird that's even tinier than herself about fear, the small red bird demonstrates with its own flock in the outlined shape of a great protective elephant.

Ruby meets a towering fowl. “My name is Ruby. ROOO-beee, ROOO-beee-OOO-beee-OOO-beee.” She inquires about his name.

The sticklike bird replies, “SKEEP-wock. SKEEEEEP-wock-wock-wock.”

Skeepwock takes Ruby to a tree full of her own kind. “ROOO-beee-OOOO.”

The multimedia illustrations of sunny days and limpid fog keep Ruby’s small yellow body the centerpiece of each two-page spread. She bounces from icy cliffs with tuxedo-clad penguins to flower-strewn climes where a spoon-billed bird totters in disbelief. Philip C. Stead masterfully combines the delicate art with an understated text, making “Hello, My Name is Ruby” a treasured picture book for early readers.

Stead is the author of “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” which was the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner and illustrated by his wife, Erin, and “A Home for Bird.”

If you go ...

What: Philip C. Stead, "Hello, My Name is Ruby," and Erin Stead, "If You Want to See a Whale," book signing

When: Friday, Sept. 13, 4 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, erinstead.com, philipstead.com

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com

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