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Willie Was Different: The Tale of an Ugly Thrushling by Molly Rockwell ; Picture by Norman Rockwell

Willie Was Different: The Tale of an Ugly Thrushling by Molly Rockwell ; Picture by Norman Rockwell


New York : Funk & Wagnalls, 1969. Signed by Norman and Molly Rockwell on half title page. Hardcover. 40 pages ; illustrated ; 22 cm. Price-clipped dust jacket with light foxing to verso. Light soiling to title page. Light musty odor within pages. No markings to pages. Binding is firm.


Check the color of the moon—it must have changed its hue, of late—for this is a book that comes but once in a blue moon.

Molly and Norman Rockwell have brought us a gentle parable of a bird, a youngling, who is typical in many ways of human youth today. We might term him a dropout from Thrush Society. Unlike his brothers (born "squares"), admirable specimens of their breed, Willie was born different. He hardly listened to his father's admonitions and lectures and even his appearance was odd. Where others were plump, he was lanky? where others were sleek-winged and broad-shouldered, his wings drooped from unthrushlike narrow shoulders? where others were properly thrush-crowned, his head feathers were too long, his neck a bit scrawny? worst of all, even as a baby, he was pigeon-toed! In short, he was the picture of a rebel, both mentally and physically. Many a human father has driven away inattentive sons even as Willie's pater finally did.

How Willie found "his thing," and proceeded to do it, achieving worldwide fame for his unusual song, is gently and charmingly told. The pictures that go with the story and add so much point to it are utterly delightful. One need say only that illustrator Norman Rockwell was the painter to convey how heartwarming and heartfelt they are.

This is a book which gentle people of any age will enjoy and treasure, for both old and young will find it distinctly to their liking.

Molly Rockwell is the wife of the famous illustrator. For many years a teacher of English at Milton Academy, she has written for English journals and other publications.

Norman Rockwell for over fifty years has caught the very heartthrob and pulse of our national life in his world-famous paintings. Now he has turned to the bird world, and succeeded brilliantly in depicting the character of an ugly thrushling in the paintings and drawings for this book.

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