This month’s book is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou.I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is the autobiography of the early years of poet and author Maya Angelou. The book is named for the caged-bird image that Lawrence Dunbar used in his poem “Sympathy.” Angelou describes her childhood growing up in Stamps, Arkansas and teen years in California. Her experiences describe the indignity and injustice that African Americans experienced in the 1930s and ’40s. Though she suffers many hardships, Angelou finds the strength and courage to overcome them.
Cooper thought this book was powerful and beautifully written. Though she was disappointed that the book wasn’t about a bird, she would recommend reading this important memoir of survival and hope.
This month’s book is Mr. Pete, Where Are Your Feet? by Katherine Bartlett.
(Illustrated by Abira D.)When greeting her little budgie, Mr. Pete’s owner gives him a kiss and asks him,”Mr. Pete, where are your feet?” Mr. Pete notices that some of his toes are shorter than the others and sets off to look for them. He and the rest of his flock (which includes finches and a cockatiel) set off to find Mr. Pete’s toes. They look in all the cages, the food bowls and even under the ladders, but Mr. Pete’s toes are nowhere to be found.
Mr. Pete’s owner notices him looking sadly at his toes and tell him that he was born with some toes shorter than the others. This makes him special and she loves him just the way he is.Cooper loved this book. She liked the message of the story – that we all deserve to be loved for who we are. The illustrations were fun and Cooper enjoyed looking at all the birds as they zipped about looking for Mr. Pete’s toes. She also liked that at the end of the book there were photos of all the birds featured in the book (and who belong to the author).
This month’s book was Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who’s Determined to Kill Me by Jenny Gardiner.In Winging It, Jenny Gardiner writes about her life with her family and assorted pets. One of them being Graycie, an African Grey Parrot. Gardiner is humorous in her descriptions of the joys and tragedies in her hectic life. The author loves her pets and has good intentions, but…
The book doesn’t really center on Graycie, she appears sporadically. The family is too busy for the care of Graycie and due to various calamities, she is often overlooked. This is a book on how not to care for your parrot. Graycie even makes a few trips to the vet with a broken breastbone after falling off her cage before Gardiner discovers that maybe she is clipping the bird’s feathers too short. Ack.
Cooper doesn’t think Graycie was vengeful at all. She thinks the parrot’s bad behavior (much of it is normal parrot behavior – chewing and pooping) was a result of the care she received. Being bored, ignored and shut away in a basement is not an ideal life for such an intelligent bird.
At the end of the book Gardiner states, “I suppose when that day comes (when the kids are grown) we’ll finally have time to really devote to Graycie.” I certainly hope so. Gardiner mentions a parrot sanctuary, Project Perry, which is near her. She writes of seeing the grey parrots flying freely and socializing. Sounds like a great place for Graycie.
*Thanks to Susan for the recommendation. I love to read about people and their birds. There’s always something to learn from their viewpoints and experiences.
This month’s book is Pet Parrots Up Close by Cooper’s friend, Karon Dubke!If you want to see some gorgeous photos while learning about parrots, then Pet Parrots Up Close is the book for you! This book is aimed at younger readers. Each page has a description and close-up photo of parrot anatomy (tails, eyes, beaks, etc.). Cooper’s favorite parts of the book were the photos of her budgie friends Bert and Ernie. So handsome! She loved how colorful and detailed the photographs were. As a former preschool teacher, I loved how informative this book was. The large photos make it perfect for circle time or for children to pour over on their own. Cooper and and the flock give this book 5 stars!
*Cooper is hoping for a follow-up book: All About Budgies!
This month’s book is Flight of the Battered Budgie (in the Undead Pets series) by Sam Hay.A wish on an Egyptian amulet causes Joe to be the protector of undead pets. Buddy the undead budgie shows up in Joe’s classroom looking for help. Buddy’s owner (the school lunch lady) is being swindled by her sister. Can Joe help bring the deception to light and help Buddy move on to his final destination?Cooper enjoyed the adventures of Joe and Buddy. She thought the illustrations by Simon Cooper(!) were cute. Her favorite parts of the book were when Buddy would get stuck in a loop repeating phrases he had been taught. She also liked that only Joe could see and hear Buddy, which lent to some amusing situations. Cooper was pleased that Buddy (with Joe’s help) saved the day. Cooper would recommend this book to anyone who likes a fun read – especially on Halloween!
This month’s book is Remy: A Little Bird with a Big Imagination by Kristin Ludwig.Remy is an adorable Pacific Parrotlet who lives in the House of Nubs. Remy was abandoned at the veterinarian’s office. The vet saved his life and found him a new home with The Lady with the Ponytail (Kristin Ludwig), new friend Hoot, Nubs and the rest of the flock. Despite having lost the toes on one foot, Remy is a brave bird with a wonderful imagination. In the book he wonders what the big world is like.Cooper highly recommends this book. She thought Remy was courageous and enjoyed seeing his many adventures. The photos (by Kelly Andre) were wonderful and the featured artwork was striking. Most of all, Cooper loved Remy’s sweet and optimistic spirit. She thinks that everyone could benefit by having such an outlook on life.
If you would like to read more about Remy and the flock you can do so at The House of Nubs.
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.
Nubs has his own facebook page and YouTube videos. There is a NUBS (No Unwanted Birds) website if you would like to read more.
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.