AVIARY WONDERS INC.: SPRING CATALOG AND INSTRUCTION MANUAL by Kate Samworth is a cleverly conceived and beautifully illustrated picture book you may have missed when it came out earlier in the year.
Set in a future where living birds no longer exist, readers of this fictional catalog can order parts and assemble their own birds. All of the birds in the book are actual species and many are identified as endangered or extinct.
It’s dark, but humorous approach isn’t intended for young children. Instead, it’s designed for sophisticated readers who appreciate the quirky premise and call for a different future.
Although readers will have fun thinking about how they might mix and match parts to build the perfect mechanical bird, it’s hoped that they’ll also reflect on the serious issue of bird and habitat conservation.
This 2014 Kirkus Prize winning picture book provides endless opportunities for library and classroom activities focusing on environmental conservation. It’s one of those rare picture books that people of all ages will enjoy. Use it to kickstart a middle grades environmental discussion or a high school biology project.
Work with the art teacher on a project that involves using the book to create mix and match birds. Display the result in the library!
To learn more about the author, go to http://katesamworth.com/.