Pablo and Birdy

illus. by Ana Juan. 304p. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481470261.
Gr 4–6—An exploration of family and how sometimes special bonds demand great sacrifices. Pablo washed up on the beach of Isla strapped to a baby pool 10 years ago, along with Birdy, a flightless parrot. Where he came from and how he ended up in the ocean with only Birdy to watch over him are mysteries—ones Pablo allows himself to think about only on the anniversary of that fateful day. Isla is a picturesque beachside town famous for its birds, including one whose existence has never been verified: the Seafaring Parrot, who, according to local legend, has seen all and remembers all. As the anniversary of Pablo's arrival nears, a storm is predicted that will bring with it the "winds of change," which spell fortune lost or fortune gained. The only one who may know about Pablo's origins is Birdy. But unlike many of the birds on the island, Birdy doesn't talk. That is, until the winds of change arrive. By the time the storm is over, Pablo will have felt a whirlwind of emotions and learned that feeling sad about what he has lost doesn't take away from what he has achieved.
VERDICT This understated book will appeal to readers who savor interpersonal relationships more than action-packed plots.

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