Author/illustrator Kate Samworth has hit on a novel idea in her Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual.
This picture book reads like a catalog. The premise is that birds are nearly extinct, so you can create your own bird by ordering parts from Aviary Wonders Inc.
The pages are full of beautiful illustrations of bird parts – “100% Indian Silk Feathers don’t fray with age like natural feathers,” and “Legs and Feet, covered in hand-tooled Italian leather.”
I think the best part comes at the end of the book: “Assembly Instructions” and “Troubleshooting.” And any catalog would be incomplete without an order form.
Aviary Wonders Inc. is best for children who can read on their own – my 10-year-old laughed and laughed, reading phrases out loud to me as he poured over this book. He wanted to create his own bird, which I encouraged him to do with tracing paper – hours of enjoyment!
This is a fun book with a subtle (at least for most kids) message.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.