Some birds are big! Some birds are small. And some birds are just incredibly TALL ...But what about all the others? Find out in this joyful celebration of birds and freedom, packed with wit and humour and with wonderfully fresh jewel-like illustrations. Matt Spink's debut picture book is, quite simply, glorious!
This is a hard one for me, while I really enjoyed the book that was right up to the last page, I am still rather upset about it. I love birds and have owned them since before having children and treated them like my babies. Before moving to New Plymouth we lived in Napier and my Canaries used to fly free around the lounge while we weren't home, Bubbie used to sit on my shoulder and follow me everywhere he even treated me like I was his and would go mad at my husband if he came anywhere near me - jump forward some years and although my beautiful baby has now passed on we replaced him with Koby and Olive and as now have two cats they do not have the same freedom but they still have a massive inside aviary and are extremely spoilt.
The last page suggests that being free is the best option for a bird and while that may be the case with some birds it is not with all birds. It has upset both of my girls and they had a lot of questions regarding why we cage ours up when they should be able to fly free. I am assuming only people who like birds will read this book and I am also guessing a majority of those people will have pet birds and so too suggest that keeping a bird caged up is unfair is a tad on the nose.
My daughter read it to us on Thursday and we have read a couple times since and I left the review until I could think things through completely before writing this. The pictures are beautiful and remind me of a coloring book and the story has a lovely floating rhyme to it. However, the picture of the bird who is caged is very depressing and really does not look happy. To be honest I do not blame it being in a tiny cage but when I look at the lives I have provided my birds and my nana her Budgies which she has owned a few since I have known her, I think the author could of worded it better. With Bubbie I used to leave the windows and door open with a curtain pulled and on one occasion he jumped outside looked around tweeted then jumped back inside.
If you own birds with young children be warned there can be some very difficult conversations that follow. Although I am not a fan of the last couple of pages I still can appreciate the book for what it is and it really is lovely, but then again I would not pay $29 for it.
My daughter is obsessed with birds and my daycare children absolutely love birds too, spending lot's of their days making bird feeders and bird watching so when I saw this book was available for review I was sure it would be a hit with them.
The picture of the bird on the front cover demonstrates what the other birds in the book look similar to they are all decorated with geometrical looking designs and patterns on them, they reminded me a lot of patterns that you find in adult colouring in books, which is exactly what my Mum said this book reminded her of when she was reading it to Miss 3. In saying that I actually love that the birds have been decorated this way, as it show's children different ways in which patterns can be used to fill a animal or the likes and also demonstrates a great use of creativity. Each of the birds are bright and colourful, full of so much character and life with the main focus on each page being on the birds. The lettering in the book is also different than most books as instead of being your usual black and white text it is written in a colour which matches the colouring s used on the bird on that particular page. The text varies in size and in layout, for example the saying "some birds swoop" is written on a downwards slant to emphasise what is being said... very clever. The teachers I work with loved the patterns on the birds and have since used this book to get children to create patterns of their own.
The children loved this book, and like Miss 3 loved sitting outside bird watching with the book in hand trying to see if they could find any birds which replicate those shown in the book, sadly we didn't come across anything as bright or colourful as int he book however we did see birds doing such actions used in the book, which was a great point for discussions. This book brought up a lot of discussions amongst staff and children about animals being held captive and whether this was a kind thing to do, as some children were a tad concerned by this we talked about how sometimes it is okay to be in cages for pets as long as they are well cared for and can go outside for fresh air in their cages, a great way to talk about caring for animals and the importance of this.
A much loved book at home and daycare which celebrates the need to be different and free, it has already been read over and over and i'm sure it will continue to be a hit for some time. The price is a little steep however, and probably a bit more than I would be happy to pay for a book, though you need to take into consideration that it is a hardcover book which means it will stay in a good condition for longer than a paper back book.
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This winning picture book comes with a shiny plastic gold medal, perfect for children to enact their very own medal ceremonies. Toby the tiger can't wait for Sports Day - he's going to have lots of fun playing games and running races. Best of all, Miss Meadow has a whole table of gold medals to give out. But when Toby doesn't win any races, how will he get a gold medal? Luckily, it's the taking part that counts and Toby goes home proudly with his new gold medal.
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"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)