Outside Amelia’s Window

Two Lions/Amazon/. Mar. 2023. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542027854.
PreS-Gr 2–A lonely child finds courage and inspiration from birds to make new friends. Amelia, who presents as Asian, watches as two children move in next door. While her mother encourages her to approach them, Amelia fears that she won’t be able to play “like she used to.” On her porch one day, she watches a small bird pull a ribbon from her very own box of treasures and use it to build a nest in a nearby tree. Fascinated, Amelia learns the bird, now joined by another, is a redstart; she names the pair Penelope and Osiris. In her research, Amelia learns that their migration route takes them from the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the forests of Venezuela. As the birds practice flying and prepare for their flight, Amelia takes a journey of her own; readers then learn that she has avoided the use of a wheelchair. The following spreads depict Amelia and her neighbors Maggie and Peter playing in a wheelchair-accessible tree house, making snow angels, and more. Nastro’s reflective, gentle text captures Amelia’s thought process and growth, while interweaving facts about birds. Budisan’s colorful pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are nothing short of stunning, depicting Amelia’s emotions, her wonder toward the redstarts, and ultimate joy found in the company of new friends. Endpapers include quotes and facts about birds.
VERDICT Inspirational and informative, this story is highly recommended for purchase for picture book collections.

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