How the Birds Became Friends

Familius. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781641705615.
PreS-K–When Quail and Crow become friendly, the other birds stop quarreling and follow suit. While this simplistic story is supposed to be based on a Burmese folktale, there is no sense of Myanmar culture. The characters are American species, anthropomorphized in Labinger’s illustrations to help make the story accessible for young readers but losing some of the appeal of the more naturalistic ornithological art that Labinger is known for. Also lost is any suspense. The birds argue till they stop, without any twists, turns, or reason.
VERDICT A too-facile tale about the importance of learning to get along with one another.

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