Maria’s 8th birthday present is two budgies she names Sugar and Spice. With her Grandma Nana’s help, she learns how to care for them and teaches them to step up. All is wonderful until Maria’s father accepts a job in another state. Their new apartment doesn’t allow pets, so Maria must leave her beloved budgies behind with Grandma Nana.
Maria misses her budgies. But Mr. Binter, the building superintendent, teaches her about the neighborhood birds and even lets her help fill the birdfeeders. Maria enjoys watching the birds, especially the two wild green parrots who look like large versions of her budgie, Spice. She names her new friends with wings Salt and Pepper.
Cooper enjoyed this book. She was sad that Maria had to leave her budgies behind, but was happy that Grandma Nana was there to look after them. She also liked the brightly colored illustrations (by Amanda Heavey).This book teaches young readers new vocabulary as well as giving them vocabulary and writing exercises to do.