This month’s book is the bestseller, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang.Sprout is a caged hen whose dream is to live with the free range chickens and hatch one of her eggs. When she can no longer lay, the farmer and his wife decide to cull Sprout from the flock. Sprout manages to escape, but is shunned by the other farm animals.
The little hen ends up raising a chick (though not her own) and faces many challenges living life in the wild.
Cooper loved this little gem of a book. She admired Sprout for her bravery and for not giving up even when the odds were against her. She thought the book was touching, and while she teared up on occasion, she would highly recommend this wonderful story of acceptance, love and sacrifice.
This month’s book is Beaky’s Guide to Caring for Your Birds by Isabel Thomas.Cooper thinks this is a great book for anyone considering a bird as a pet. It has information on choosing and cleaning a cage, what to feed (and not feed) your bird, handling your pet, etc. The book is filled with cute illustrations (by Rick Peterson) and photos. Some of the photos are by Cooper’s friend Karon Dubke. Cooper was excited to see Karon’s budgies, Bert and Ernie, in the book. She also liked that the book states that animal shelters and rescues are the best places to get new pets. Cooper agrees with the author that budgies need lots of toys – and that you don’t need to wait for your bird’s birthday to buy new ones!
This month’s book is Birdology by Sy Montgomery.In Birdology, author and naturalist Sy Montgomery shines a light on the bird world. The book is divided into segments: chickens, cassowaries, hummingbirds, hawks, pigeons, parrots and crows. Montgomery combines science and storytelling in a way that makes for an entertaining read. Birdology not only shows us what fascinating creatures birds are, but reminds us how important they are to our world.
Cooper loved this book. She thought the author accurately portrayed the emotions, intelligence and abilities of her feathered friends. Her favorite part of the book was Montgomery’s green budgie, Jerry. He makes an appearance in the introduction. “Among the many things he showed me was that birds stir our souls in ways that change our lives.” Cooper thinks the author should have included a chapter about budgies. But maybe it would have been too difficult to cram the wonder of budgies into just one chapter. Surely, it would take an entire book for that. Budgieology…
This month’s book is Honey the Hero: A Bird Brain Book, by Emlyn Chand.Honey is a little green budgie who lives in the Australian Outback. One day she peers through a house window and sees a superhero performing heroic actions on television. This inspires Honey to become a superhero herself. Unfortunately her attempts to assist other animals in the outback backfire. On the verge of giving up, a baby dingo needs help. Will Honey rise to the occasion?
Cooper thought this was a cute book. She approved of the large, colorful illustrations (by Sarah Shaw). Even though Honey was just a tiny budgie, she was able to make a difference. This, along with Honey’s perseverance was a great message for old and young alike.
This month’s book is How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham.On a busy city street, only Will notices a wounded pigeon on the ground. He and his mother pick it up and take it home. Will, his mother and father gently wrap the bird’s broken wing. With the family’s tender care, the days pass and the pigeon heals.Cooper loved this simple, yet powerful story. She wishes more people were like Will. She thought the illustrations were beautiful and did a wonderful job rounding out the spare text. Her favorite part of the book was when the pigeon was released back in to the wild. And she thought the bird poop on the city statues was amusing.
Cooper highly recommends this book – it’s message of being aware and caring for nature is good for young and old alike.
This month’s book is The Parrot Who Owns Me, by Joanna Burger.This book tells of the relationship between Tico, a red-lored Amazon parrot and ornithologist Joanna Burger, who adopts him. Tico comes to live with Burger after his previous owners pass away. He gradually warms to his new owner and even begins to court her.
Cooper loved this book. She enjoyed reading about bird behavior – both Tiko’s and that of the birds that Burger studied in the field. Tiko likes to slide down a banister, which Cooper would love to do. Except we don’t have stairs. Sorry, Cooper. She was a bit alarmed that Tico was fed chocolate (toxic to birds), but that is addressed in a warning at the end of the book. Cooper thinks that Burger’s first parrot, Lucinda (a blue and yellow budgie) should have been the star of The Parrot Who Owns Me. But overall, Cooper recommends this tale of the strong bond that forms between a parrot and his human.
This month’s book is Together Again: The Life and Travels of Carlos and Angelina by George Griffith.This is the story of two bonded budgies and the adventures they have when they become separated. The book opens in 1935, when elderly Myrtle leaves a window open and Carlos and Angelina fly away. They are captured by a pet shop owner and put up for sale. Unfortunately, Carlos is soon sold, and Angelina is left behind. Louisiana, Maine, San Francisco and Hawaii are some of the states that the budgies visit as they escape or are given away. Thirteen years later, they manage to reunite – but very briefly. They sing together and gaze at a double rainbow and then Carlos passes away.
Cooper loves to read about budgies. She was a little confused when Leo the African Grey Parrot became Leo the green parakeet two pages later. And she would have liked the focus to stay on the budgies (the book also includes historical anecdotes and the story of two humans, who are separated and reunited). Cooper was very sad that the budgie pair was separated, but happy that they managed to spend a few moments together at the end of the book.
This month’s book is The Birds of Pandemonium by Michele Raffin.The Birds of Pandemonium is the story of Michele Raffin and her family, who went from taking in six doves (originally meant to be just one) to running Pandemonium Aviaries, one of the largest non profit, (non companion) bird sanctuaries in the United States.
Cooper absolutely loved this book. At times humorous, and at times heart-breaking, the story of how her aviaries grow is always fascinating. Through trial and error, and with the help of other breeders, vets and conservationists the author proves that one person can truly make a difference.
Cooper’s favorite birds in the book were Amigo and Shana, two sassy parrots. She also liked reading about Sweetie (a coturnix Japanese quail), a darling little bird who was found at a grocery store in a paper bag on top of the celery (perhaps someone’s future dinner?). She thought the author did a great job of showing that birds have personalities, feelings and intelligence. She also liked the color photos of some of the featured birds.
The aviaries sound beautiful – colorful and filled with plants and artwork. Cooper thinks we should build her one. She might even share it with the rest of the flock…
You can read more about Pandemonium Aviaries here.
This month’s book is The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Nobel prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer. David and his parents are celebrating Hanukkah, when they notice a parakeet sitting on their windowsill. David’s father opens the window and waves the little bird inside and out of the cold snowy night. David is thrilled with the little bird and names him “Dreidel”. The family posts lost notices around the neighborhood, but no one comes forward to claim Dreidel.
The family buys the bird a cage and he becomes a beloved member of the family. On Hannukah, Dreidel always receives a gift – a mirror, a swing, a jingle bell, etc. He even develops a taste for latkes.
When David grows up, he brings home his friend Zelda from college – who has a connection to Dreidel… Cooper thought this book was fantastic. She loved the colorful illustrations (by Suzanne Raphael Berkson) and the sweet twist at the end. Her favorite part of the book was when Dreidel helped the father with his with his writing. Cooper also likes to sit on fingers when they’re typing. She liked that the family always kept Dreidel’s cage unlocked so he could come and go as he pleased. And what better miracle could there be than a parakeet showing up on your windowsill?
This month’s book is H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald. This award winning book is the story of a woman coming to terms with grief after her father suddenly dies. When Helen McDonald learns of her father’s passing, she purchases a goshawk. As time goes on she retreats further from the human world by immersing herself in the training of her hawk, Mabel.
The author alternates the telling of her missteps and successes with Mabel with an account of author T.H. White’s experiences training his hawk, Gos. Though Mcdonald descends into isolation and heavy depression, her time with Mabel eventually helps her to come to terms with her sorrow.
Cooper enjoyed this novel. She found the way T.H. White treated his hawk to be disturbing, though. She liked that falconry has its own terminology (bloom, rouse, mute [poop!]). She learned quite a bit about falconry and the goshawk – a bird almost as fierce as a budgie. Her favorite parts of the book, though, were the descriptions of Mabel flying free.