From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. If you think Jeanne Willis’ Tadpole’s Promise (2005), in which a romantically involved tadpole and caterpillar metamorphose into predator and prey, is too much of a downer, here’s a happier interspecies romance–one that puts magical flourishes on a Mexican folktale Ryan heard from her grandmother. Nacho is a pitacoche bird that “carries all the colors of the world in his feathers,” but he longs for a companion. Then he meets a migratory swallow named Lolita, and ooh-la-la! He cannot fly well enough to return with her to South America, so he converts his enchanted feathers into bright flowers that cloak the landscape and guide the returning Lolita back to his side. Although the seams between truthful animal behavior and anthropomorphic fantasy seem a bit rough, Ryan’s cozy storytelling will draw listeners close, and the Colombian-born illustrator cleverly exploits the contrast between the drought-scarred backdrops and Nacho’s brilliance to achieve a vibrancy that is unusual in colored-pencil illustrations. A fanciful, broadly appealing affirmation of the transforming power of love. Jennifer Mattson
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