A Dream of Birds

Amazon Crossing. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781662500930.
K-Gr 3–Patel brings readers a story that is chock full of an emotion many might not be able to name outright: longing. A young girl named Sara notices a large birdhouse in a yard on her way to school. She finds it full of parakeets, birds known for their role as pets. Carrying thoughts of her grandfather, who would feed wild birds each afternoon at home, she opens the doors and frees the parakeets from their cage. Not realizing the gravity of her decision, she thinks only of the longing she feels on behalf of these birds, to have freedom. Certain readers may connect with Sara and this yearning, or perhaps it will prove too philosophical. It’s a lovely story, suited for reading aloud with adults, so children can ask questions. Bright illustrations depict the colors of Mauritius, where the story takes place, as noted at the end, which also contains brief information about the places and birds in the story. Tchoukriel’s pictures are extremely detailed, lending to the artistry of the book, but are also whimsical enough to capture attention.
VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries focusing on developing a collection with diverse authors and illustrators. Could be useful in elementary curriculum collections as a mentor text.

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