Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pikkuli, the smallest bird

Metsämarja Aittokoski: Pikkuli
Illustrated by Elli Vuorinen

Pikkuli is a small bird. Even when it (again we do not know if Pikkuli is a boy or a girl, it is always referred as "it") hatches, it needs help. Mom and Dad hear Pikkuli saying it cannot. Pikkuli's parents are trying to entourage it to break the egg. Pikkuli's brother and sister are eagerly learning how to fly, but Pikkuli is repeating "I cannot."

Eating is a problem for Pikkuli, too. Pikkuli's beak is too small for the worm. And again Pikkuli says "I can't".

Then it is time to learn to fly. Guess what? Pikkuli says " I can't" and does not even try.

Pikkuli decides to run away. It meets a woodpecker, who is trying to find food. Finally the woodpecker finds a big bug. It was worth trying, says the woodpecker to Pikkuli.  Pikkuli sees many animals, which all can do things. Pikkuli still thinks, it cannot do anything. Finally Pikkuli meets a bird, which seems to have mismatch body parts. Its neck is stuck under the water and is about to drown. Pikkuli is looking around: isn't anybody going to help the poor bird?  Then Pikkuli dives in and untangles the long neck. The odd bird, Honkkeli, says it never learns how to catch fish. Pikkuli thinks, they should try together. Then they dive and fish. Pikkuli's family is amazed at the transformation.  But Pikkuli still can not fly. Dad says none of them fly south until Pikkuli can join them. Pikkuli is happy, it is liked even though it cannot anything. Then Pikkuli tries flying and succeeds. Then the whole family flies south. Well Pikkuli dives and does other things,

I have been substituting in comprehensive school and I have seen, how kids get discouraged, if they don't succeed immediately. They do not want to practice and it is sad. I keep telling them that is why they are in school, to learn things. Very odd! The Pikkuli story is a great lesson for all children to keep trying.

You can find learning material, coloring pages and much more at Pikkuli homepage,

Pikkuli is also an animation at YLE, Pikkuli tv-series at Yle.

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