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.
This month’s book is Feathers in the Fry Pan! by Brandy House. This book was in the budgie box sent by Susan – thanks Susan!
Feathers in the Fry Pan tells of the amusing adventures of Tiger, an adorable little green budgie. Tiger was very affectionate and much loved by his family. He had free reign of the house and was into everything.
This was a cute, but short book (perhaps because Tiger only lived one year). Tiger had some close calls and escaped the house twice. The family’s other bird, a young budgie named Bird, was killed by their dog. While Cooper enjoyed this book, she was disturbed by the untimely ends of Bird and Tiger (budgies need supervision). And she won’t even get into the poor sentence structure and grammatical errors. Although Tiger had a short life, it seemed to be a happy one, and this book certainly depicts the joy of budgie ownership.
This month’s book is Conversations with Cosmo – At Home with an African Grey Parrot. Betty Jean Craige tells of her relationship with her parrot, Cosmo. Cosmo has a vocabulary of over two hundred phrases which she uses to communicate with Betty Jean. Cooper found the book to be insightful and humorous. She loved reading about Cosmo’s jokes and antics, and found the bond between Cosmo and Betty Jean to be very touching. Of course, now Cooper wants an African Grey Parrot of her own.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Jonathan is a seagull who is not content to live the life of an ordinary bird. He loves to fly – and pushes himself to greater heights and speed. His shenanigans ultimately cause him banishment from his flock. This frees Jonathan to explore flight, discover other planes of existence and pursue self-perfection.
Cooper enjoyed this book, especially the passages about flying and the photos of the seagulls. Cooper thought the story was short and sweet and she liked its inspirational message.
The Parakeet Girl by Marilyn Sadler
After trying out a dog, a cat and a goldfish, Emma Tuttle finds the perfect pet – a parakeet named Henry. Henry does everything with Emma until one day her brother brings home a parakeet of his own. Henry falls in love with the new bird – a budgie named Kate. Soon Henry abandons Emma to spend all his time with Kate. Is Emma doomed to live a lifetime of loneliness??
Cooper enjoyed this book. She thought it was very romantic and loved that there were two blue budgies in the story. She also liked that Henry holds the remote while watching television (the remote is one of Cooper’s favorite things).
Willie Was Different by Norman Rockwell
Willie the wood thrush is awkward and different. Deep down inside, though, he knows he is a genius. So he leaves his family behind to go out into the world. He meets Miss Polly, the town librarian. He discovers his musical genius while singing along with Miss Polly’s flute. Soon, fame finds him. But will acclaim and admiration make Willie happy?
Cooper enjoyed this book. It was a cute story and the illustrations were wonderful. She didn’t understand why Willie would give up being a celebrity, though…
Maxie by Betty Basler Barboza
This short, but sweet little book (recommended by Susan) is about a budgie named Maxie and his life with the Basler family. Maxie was a charming and talkative little fellow, who had a series of amusing adventures. Cooper’s favorite parts of the book where when Maxie saved baby Brad’s life (from poisoning!) and when Maxie dropped his toys to the floor (a game Cooper likes to play). The family loved Maxie so much they had him stuffed after he died (that’s stuffed Maxie on the cover – yikes).
This month we have three books. We’ll Always Have Parrots, Cockatiels at Seven and The Real Macaw – all written by Donna Andrews. These books are from the author’s Meg Lanslow series about a crime solving blacksmith. There are other bird titles in the series, but Cooper wanted to read about the birds most like her. Unfortunately, the birds are not the main focus of the books (in Cockatiels at Seven, they are merely mentioned), which was a let down for Cooper. She liked the cover art, though, and thinks the next book should have a budgie title.
This month’s book was Of Parrots and People by Mira Tweti. It is an eye-opening and often heart breaking account of what happens to parrots when people decide to keep them as pets. The book has sections on parrot intelligence, parrots as pets, the breeding and selling industries, bird smuggling and bird sanctuaries and conservation. Cooper thinks it is a must-read for everyone – especially those thinking of owning a parrot.
Pete and Roland by Bob Graham
This book is about a little boy named Pete who finds a parakeet in his back yard. He names the bird Roland and has lots of fun taking care of him. What starts as a cute and fun little story takes a horrific turn when one day, Roland flies away through the window. Roland takes up with a flock of pigeons, so there is a happy ending.
Cooper’s favorite part of the book was when Roland would make little messes (poops) on the dressing table.