This month’s book is Andy Gets the Blame by Freda M. Hurt.Ten year old Andy wants to buy her Aunty Loo a blue budgerigar for Christmas. But she hasn’t enough money. Each of Andy’s schemes to earn the 21 shillings for a budgie end in disaster. The worst happens when she is accused of stealing a budgie from an aviary. Will Andy be able to clear her name and give her aunt the most wonderful Christmas gift ever?Cooper loved this book. She thought the story was charming and was pleased that it had a happy ending. Someone who would worry and plan as much as Andy did for a budgie would probably make a great budgie slave – er, owner. Cooper particularly liked that the coveted budgie was blue.
This month’s book is Night Outside by Patricia Wrightson.After their father throws (!!) their pet budgie out the window, Anne and James go out into the dark to search for him. Along the way they meet the strange and unusual people of the night. The most interesting character of the book was William, a blue and yellow budgie (of course). The people of the night introduce the children to the concept of eternity and the here and now. The children do find William and are reunited with their father, who comes out to search for them. This was an unusual story and very philosophical for a children’s book. Cooper wasn’t sure she “got it”, but was happy that William wasn’t eaten by the cat lady’s numerous stray cats. It was a little up in the air whether William would eventually go home with the children. Cooper hopes not, as she was not a fan of the father.
This month’s book is Nubs: A Little Bird with a Big Story by Kristin Ludwig.This book tells the true story of Nubs, a little one footed budgie. Nubs was rescued from a hoarder house that contained 500 birds. He* was taken to a shelter where he was cleaned up and cared for. “The Lady with the Ponytail” (the author and volunteer who cared for Nubs) eventually took him home to live with her. Nubs was joined in his new home by Freckles (another one footed budgie) and became a certified Pet Partner therapy animal.
Cooper loved this book. She liked the message that it’s okay to be different and that every day is a chance for a fresh start. She also liked the big colorful budgie photos.
100% of the author’s excess revenue supports the ongoing care of Nubs’ flock, who now live at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, Indiana.
*Cooper thinks Nubs is actually girl…
This month’s book is Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes.In Flaubert’s Parrot, English doctor Geoffrey Braithwaite examines the life of Gustave Flaubert and uses his writings to make sense of his own life. The title bird is a stuffed parrot that sat on Flaubert’s desk while he wrote Un cœur simple (and which features a parrot by the name of Loulou).
Cooper enjoyed this book – she learned a lot about Flaubert. Her favorite part of the book follows:
“In 1845 Gustave was traveling through Antibes, on his way to Italy, when he came across a sick parakeet which merited an entry in his diary; the bird used to perch carefully on the mudguard if its owner’s light cart, and at dinnertime would be brought in and placed on the mantlelpiece. The diarist notes the ‘strange love’ clearly evident between man and pet.”
Cooper thinks if the book had been titled Flaubert’s Budgie, it certainly would have won the Pulitzer or Nobel Prize.
This month’s book is Pete the Parakeet by Sharon Gordon.Pete is a happy parakeet. He has a swing and a bell and a cage that looks like a blimp. But suddenly Pete disappears. Where could he be?It turns out Pete was bringing his friend (a cat!) over to play at his house. Cooper thought this was a cute little book, but does not recommend that her budgie friends play with cats.
This month’s book is The Conditions of Love by Dale M. Kushner.Despite the big blue budgie on the cover, this book was not about a budgie! The Conditions of Love is the story of Eunice, a young girl struggling to find love as she journeys through life.
There is a budgie in the book, Mr. Puccini, a green and yellow bird (unlike the blue budgie on the cover) who teaches Mern, Eunice’s self-centered mother, “simple happiness”. When Mr. Puccini escapes through an open window Mern is devastated (as one would be). Though Mr. Puccini only appears on a few pages, Cooper thought he was the star of this beautifully written, poignant story.
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).