Tuesday, April 4, 2023

This Art is for the Birds by Susan Bednarski

Alex the Crow is not your ordinary feathered friend. For one thing, he hangs out with pigeons. For another, he's an artist. Finding ways to turn ordinary things into extraordinary art, Alex longs to have his work displayed in an art museum.

Alex's pigeon friends narrate this story, telling the reader all about their friend. They are matter-of-fact in describing what makes Alex different from themselves. Alex's feathered friends model encouragement and a genuine acceptance of his quirks. They feel very strongly that Alex's art belongs in the art museum and they intend to help him get it there. How they accomplish this task will delight children of all ages. I loved the birds' dialogue shown through speech bubbles throughout the book.

I love that the author offered some discussion questions at the end for reflection. She also explained her creative process in writing the book. One fun part of the book is that the front and endpapers have small pictures that are scenes from the book. Children will have fun hunting down where each image came from inside the story. And just to make it interesting, one of the images has been reversed. 

I think it would be interesting for young readers to follow this example and write a story about themselves narrated by their friends and family. Thinking about what others might share about what makes them unique. They could even choose the type of animal that would represent them. Sometimes stepping outside the human world, we can examine and process a message more easily. I think this book has a beautiful message that we all have worth and it's our uniqueness that brings a necessary beauty and variety to the world. I highly recommend this book for any home or school classroom.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of This Art is for the Birds from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.


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