Maynor, Megan

A House for Every Bird

(2) K-3 Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. The book's protagonist, whom we meet on the cover, is a young girl with light-brown skin brimming with creativity and personality. Endpapers are decorated with pictures of birds drawn in a childlike style, and the title-page spread shows the girl busily sketching as completed drawings cascade down the foreground of the page. "I drew these birds. And a house for every bird. Doo-be-doo," the girl sings to herself in an artistic reverie. Despite the obvious joy she takes in drawing, there are limitations to her creativity. These are revealed as the birds in her pictures become animate and start talking back, resisting the rigid way she's depicted a red house for a red bird, a tall house for a tall bird, and so on. At first alarmed, the girl then exclaims, "But I was trying to help. I made a house for every bird. How was I supposed to KNOW what you like?" Her exaggerated facial expressions and body language are sure to provoke laughter, especially since the reply from the bird she addresses is a succinct "Ask us." The birds have to repeat this good advice a few times, but the girl eventually softens and grows in both her imaginative powers and her empathy. This bighearted picture book delivers a worthwhile message with humor and great respect for young readers.


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