- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Clarion Books (March 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547978995
- ISBN-13: 978-0547978994
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual Hardcover – March 4, 2014
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Featured Sketches from "Aviary Wonders" with Author Comments
*Starred Review* Here’s how the book opens: “Some species are disappearing. Others are already gone. Not to worry! AVIARY WONDERS INC. has the solution.” In a handsome “catalog and instruction manual,” the company’s fictional founder offers bird replacements that are part pet, part artwork, and part automaton. Readers are invited to choose from various handcrafted bird bodies, legs, beaks, wings, and tails. After detailed assembly instructions, advice is given on teaching the creations to fly and to sing. A Q&A page and an order form follow. Deadpan rather than didactic in presentation, this is an original, somewhat disturbing, and wholeheartedly bizarre (but in a good way!) picture book for older children. An accomplished artist working here in oil, ink, graphite, and colored pencil, Samworth is equally adept at drawing the swoops and spirals of birds in flight or painting the richly colored and patterned bird parts in the opulent catalog. Though set in the future, the presentation has a distinctly vintage quality. The more the text delves into the intricacies of bird construction, behavior, and care, the more realistic it sounds, and the crazier it becomes. Reflective readers will soon reach the unstated but inescapable conclusion: birds are awesome creatures, and once gone, they’re simply irreplaceable. An impressive picture-book debut. Grades 4-6. --Carolyn Phelan
Top customer reviews
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Set in a future where living birds no longer exist, readers of this fictional catalog can order parts and assemble their own birds. All of the birds in the book are actual species and many are identified as endangered or extinct.
It’s dark, but humorous approach isn’t intended for young children. Instead, it’s designed for sophisticated readers who appreciate the quirky premise and call for a different future.
Although readers will have fun thinking about how they might mix and match parts to build the perfect mechanical bird, it’s hoped that they’ll also reflect on the serious issue of bird and habitat conservation.
This 2014 Kirkus Prize winning picture book provides endless opportunities for library and classroom activities focusing on environmental conservation. It’s one of those rare picture books that people of all ages will enjoy. Use it to kickstart a middle grades environmental discussion or a high school biology project.
Work with the art teacher on a project that involves using the book to create mix and match birds. Display the result in the library!
To learn more about the author, go to http://katesamworth.com/.
An interview and more of Samworth's work can be seen at www.streetlightmag.com