This month’s book is Budgie by Joseph Coelho (illustrated by David Barrow).
After a run in with his cranky neighbor, Mr. Buxton, Miles finds a lost budgie outdoors and brings him home. A downstairs neighbor has a cage with water, seeds and a mirror for the budgie. Miles names him Pippin. After a brief flight around the kitchen, Pippin settles into his new home.
Sadly, Pippin is not well the next day, and passes away before they can take him to the vet.
Miles and his family give Pippin a funeral with flowers. Miles writes a tribute and his sister Mary draws a picture of him.
Later, Miles finds out that Pippin belonged to Mr. Buxton (and was named Lemon). Lemon flew out the window and was lost. Mr. Buxton lets Miles know that Lemon was an older budgie and had a happy life. They bond over the tiny budgie and comfort each other through their tears.
Cooper thinks this is a lovely book, but warns readers to have some tissues ready. She was sad that little Pippin/Lemon passed away. But she was consoled that he had a long, happy life. She was glad that both Miles and Mr. Buxton appreciated what a wonderful budgie he was.
Cooper loved the illustrations by David Barrow and the descriptive vocabulary by British poet and Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho. The book’s end papers have some budgie facts and a spot the difference, which will be fun for young readers.
Budgie is a lovely little story that teaches children about grief, acceptance and understanding.