Eep! Quirky allegory
Eep! by Jake van Leeuwen, translated by Bill Nagelkerke; published by Gecko Press USA, an imprint of Gecko Press Ltd., New Zealand; 2012.
Warren is a bird watcher. One day, while doing what he loves, he spotted a small bird under a bush. Only it wasn’t a bird: It was a girl with a face and legs and feet but wings where her arms should be. Warren carried the precious gift home to his wife, Tina, who longed for a child. Named Beedy, the girl learned what she could under their care. But Beedy also longed for freedom and left one morning without saying goodbye. On their quest to find Beedy to say goodbye, Warren and Tina, and Beedy, all encounter others longing for various things in their own lives. In the end, they all have the chance to say goodbye to Beedy and she disappears on her own adventure.
Part Roald Dahl, part Shel Silverstein, this quirky little allegory will have different meanings for different readers. I won’t share what I took away from the allegory since every reader has to glean his or her own meaning from the book. This book will appeal to fans of Dahl (especially his shorter quirkier tales). I’d also recommend it as a read aloud in elementary schools, especially for 3rd or 4th grade classes, as it begs for discussion and interpretation; good skills to work on with students in this age group.