This month’s book is Salvador and Mister Sam, A Guide to Parakeet Care by Gail Gibbons.
Sonia’s friend Salvador has two budgies, Sue and Sidney. His birds can do tricks, but they can’t talk. Sue and Sidney soon have a clutch of baby budgies, and Salvador promises Sonia she can have one as a pet. While they wait for the babies to be old enough to leave their parents, Salvador teaches Sonia about budgies and how to care for them. Once Sonia has a cage, she picks out her budgie and takes him home.
Sonia names her bird Mister Sam and teaches him tricks. When Salvador comes over for a visit, he is surprised that Mr. Sam can not only do tricks and step up, but he can talk, too!
Cooper liked this book. She enjoyed the fun illustrations and thought the story was a great way to teach children about their pet budgies. The book was published in 1975, so some of the information was a bit outdated (blue ceres mean male, feed your budgie gravel, budgies can’t overeat). But there were a lot of good tips for keeping your budgie healthy and happy (roomy cage, lots of safe toys).
Cooper liked all the tricks the budgies could do, especially wearing a bell as a hat. She wasn’t thrilled that Sonia thought baby budgies were ugly – she hopes that Mister Sam will poop on her for that comment.
Cooper also loved that the author photo in the book shows Gail Gibbons with her pet budgie.