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.
This month’s book is Mimi and Maty to the Rescue! – Book 3: C.C. the Parakeet by Brooke Smith.Mimi, an official animal rescuer, starts her first day of second grade. It has its ups and downs. One of the downs is leaving her three legged dog, Maty, at home. So Mimi is excited when it’s “bring your pet to school day”.
One of the pets, parakeet C.C., flies out of an open window after being startled by one of the students. Mimi and Maty are quick to help and use their ingenuity and knowledge of parakeets to find C.C. Cooper loved this book. And not just because it featured a blue budgie… She thought the illustrations (by Alli Arnold) were cute. She liked the story Mimi’s mother told about her pet parakeet (flying into a toilet!) and the parakeet facts that Mimi uses to find C.C.
The end of the book has photos of the real Mimi (the author’s daughter) and Maty. Mimi created the site Freekibble, which feeds meals to homeless pets at shelters across the country. Maty is a Humane Society goodwill ambassador and visits schools and groups to educate people about animal safety.
This month’s book is What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss. In this book (discovered in a box after Theodor Geisel’s death), two children are given permission by their parents to go to the pet store and pick out a pet. Should they get a dog, cat, bird, fish, rabbit or yent? They only have until noon to decide! Cooper thought this was a fun book. Her favorite part was the “something with wings/pick one that sings”. She also liked the publisher’s notes, which gave a history of Geisel and his pets and how the manuscript and drawings for the book were discovered. The notes also encouraged readers to adopt a pet from a shelter instead of purchasing one from a pet store – which is a lovely idea.
This month’s book is The Adventures of Tutu the Parakeet by Norma Green.The book begins with a little blue budgie in a pet shop. He wonders who will take him home. He hopes it’s the little man with the sailor cap who brings treats when he visits. He dreams of traveling the seas with him. Unfortunately, he ends up going home with a rambunctious little girl and her family.
The little girl names him Tutu, insists that he’s a girl and gives him cold showers in her doll bathtub. After some neglect, Tutu becomes ill and is taken to the vet. The vet gives the little girl a lesson in caring for her pet, and things seem to be better for Tutu. But an open door provides Tutu with the chance to find the little man and live the life of his dreams. Will Tutu find the little man and live happily ever after?
Cooper loved this book (she is partial to books starring blue budgies). She thought Tutu was very brave. He certainly had lots of adventures – from being in a pet show, to escaping and surviving in the “wild”. And just when things seem to be bad, they get worse! Cooper was relieved the book had a happy ending and that Tutu found the love he deserved. We may never know what budgies think and feel, but The Adventures of Tutu the Parakeet gives the reader an idea of what it just might be like to be a tiny budgie.
This month’s book is Pinkalicious and the Pink Parakeet by Victoria Kann.Pinkalicious (who loves all things pink) goes on a field trip to an aviary with her class. She hopes to see the rare pink parakeet she has read about in her bird book. When the pink parakeet escapes the aviary, will Pinkalicious be able to use her knowledge to find it and bring it back?Cooper enjoyed this book – even through she thought it should be about Pinkalicious and the BLUE parakeet. Her favorite part of the book was when the parakeet hitched a ride out of the aviary. She also thought that Pinkalicious’s brother saying he could eat seventeen worms a minute (like an oriole) was funny. If you’re looking for a cute and charming book, like pink and like parakeets, then this is the one for you!
This month’s book is 2 Many Parakeets by Raymond Mullikin.In 2 Many Parakeets, Rainbow the budgie’s life changes when a new bird moves in. Though Rainbow was lonely, he is not too sure about the new addition. Eddie tries to make friends, but Rainbow wants nothing to do with him. Eddie doesn’t give up though, and manages to find Eddie in all of his hiding spots. Will Rainbow ever accept Eddie as a friend?Cooper loved the big, colorful illustrations and rhyming text in this book. She liked that the budgies had the run of the house, but wasn’t too keen on the fly that Eddie wanted to share (she would much rather have millet). Eddie and Rainbow are real birds and there are photos of them at the end of the book. While Cooper doesn’t think there is such a thing as 2 many parakeets, she enjoyed the story and was glad the budgies became pals at the end.
This month’s book is Did You Know I Love You? by Christa Pierce.In Did You Know That I Love You?, Bird lets her friend Fox know how much she loves him. Through her kisses, hugs and even a mug of warm tea, Bird shows Fox that her love is “for you, and it will always be.”Cooper thought this book, with its bright, whimsical illustrations, was very sweet. She was very happy to see the star of the book was a little blue bird. Cooper recommends this book to anyone looking for a story of friendship and unconditional love.
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.