This month’s book is Blimey! I’m a Budgie! by Tony Bradman.Hoping to avoid an encounter with the school bully, Adam is relieved when he is magically transformed into a budgie. He enjoys being able to fly and hanging out with his new bird friends. But being a budgie isn’t as easy as he had thought. There are bullies in the bird world, too! After Adam learns how to confront his fears, he returns to the human world with strength and confidence.Cooper loved this book. Her favorite part was when Adam and his friends outwitted Konan the Kestrel. Cooper thinks everyone should be able to turn into a budgie at least once in their life. Many problems can be solved from a budgie’s view point!
This month’s book is Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings by Suzie Gilbert.
In Flyaway, Suzie Gilbert, a bird rehabilitator, shares her experiences rescuing wild birds who have been injured or abandoned. Starting small, Gilbert’s home operation, Flyaway Inc. soon grows. From songbirds to herons to raptors, we see the time and dedication it takes to nurse the injured back to health. With heart and humor she depicts the joys and sorrows that are part of caring for these wild creatures.
Cooper loved this book. She thought Gilbert did an excellent job portraying the intelligence and personalities of each bird. Cooper laughed at the birds’ antics and teared up when, in spite of all Gilbert’s efforts, a bird couldn’t pull through. Cooper admires the effort and sacrifice that rehabbers put in to save their avian friends, and cannot recommend this book highly enough.
A bluebird notices the isolation of a young boy at school. Befriending him, the two spend the afternoon together. But their fun ends when they encounter a group of bullies in the park. Sadly, the bluebird loses its life in defending the boy. The story has an uplifting end, though, when a colorful flock of birds lifts the boy and the spirit of the bluebird into the clouds to say goodbye.
Cooper enjoyed this book (which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly, Barnes and Noble and American Bookseller’s Association). She loved that the hero of the book was a bluebird, but was sad when it sacrificed its life. She hopes that the boy was worth it.
Bird Brains examines the intelligence of the corvid family. Research on the birds (nest building, raising young, food gathering, mating and play) shows powers of abstraction, memory, and creativity that put them on par with many mammals, even higher primates.
This was nothing new to Cooper, who knows firsthand how brilliant birds can be. She enjoyed this book – particularly the amazing photos (taken by some of the world’s best wildlife photographers).
“Imprisoned by flock of mammoth birds on an isolated island in the South Pacific, an atomic scientist has to pit his wits against super-intelligent parakeets that threaten to dominate all life on earth.”
Unfortunately, John Walden defeats the budgies.
Or does he??
Timmy is given a parakeet by his Aunt Susan (coolest Aunt ever). He names the little blue budgie Peter and learns how to take care of him. Peter loves to play with his toys, take baths and fly about the house. Timmy hopes to teach Peter how to say, “Happy birthday!”. After weeks of no success, Peter finally does say “Happy birthday!”. And he says it on Timmy’s actual birthday – because budgies are awesome that way.
Cooper enjoyed this book. Her favorite part was when Peter would push his ball off the table for Timmy to pick up over and over again. She was a little concerned that the family would let Peter fly free around lit candles, though. Overall, Cooper thought the story and illustrations were charming and would recommend Parakeet Peter to all her friends.
Princess Penelope is a spoiled and nasty little princess. She receives a parrot for her birthday and proceeds to treat it awfully. The parrot has its revenge when a neighboring prince comes to visit, and all ends well. Cooper enjoyed this book (even though she thought that “Princess Penelope’s Parakeet” would have been a more interesting story). The illustrations were fun, and she was glad to see the princess get her comeuppance.
The Bird King is a collection of illustrations, sketches and ideas by the artist. Cooper loved the whimsical and imaginative artwork. Her favorite was the budgie on the cover and the budgie on page 50. This sketch became an illustration in the book Tales From Outer Suburbia.
This book is the memoir of the nineteen year relationship between biologist Stacey O’ Brien, and Wesley, a four day old barn owlet. Wesley could not be rehabilitated and released in the wild due to nerve damage in one wing, so Stacey adopts him and takes him home. The two bond and have many adventures over the years. Raising an owl is no easy task, but Stacey lovingly cares for the little owl and shares her discoveries about owl behavior.
Cooper thought this book was both moving and educational. She enjoyed reading about Oliver’s exploits – especially his love of baths and magazine ripping (two of her favorite activities). She found the description of mouse preparation/feeding to be disgusting, however. But supposes an owl must eat what an owl must eat. Cooper would recommend this book if you would like some insight into “The Way of the Owl”.
This month’s book is The Widow and the Parrot by Virginia Woolf. Woolf wrote the story for her two young nephews to include in their family newsletter. The illustrations were done by her grand nephew.
The book is about a poor widow who is left an inheritance by her brother (a house and a sum of money). She travels to another village to find that the house is in shambles, and the money is non-existent. What is left for her is a grey parrot named James. Though she is advised to sell the parrot, she befriends and cares for him. Her kindness pays off when James saves her life and guides her to the small fortune her miserly brother had hidden away under the kitchen floor. James, the widow, and her dog live out the rest of their days in comfort.
Cooper enjoyed this book. The story was sweet and she liked the message that being kind pays off in the end. Her favorite part of the book was when James saves the widow from freezing to death in the night.