A Garden to Save the Birds Book Review

A Garden to Save the Birds 
Written by Wendy McClure
Illustrated by Beatriz Mayumi
Expected publication by Albert Whitman & Co.: April, 2021

Who else is excited for spring? With snow drifts obscuring the stone walls that divide our yard from the forest, spring seems forever away. We're enjoying that snow immensely, but also looking forward to when we can work in our yard again. Now that we've read A Garden to Save the Birds, we have some new plans!

We would love to live in the book neighborhood. Scratch that. We'd love to make our neighborhood reflect the book neighborhood. The resources in the back make it doable, too! But let's back up. The story follows two children who are surprised when a bird collides with their window. Their curiosity leads them down a rabbit hole, ending with a neighborhood transformation. As Callum and Emmy learn about the hazards to native bird species (the neighbor's cat) and simple actions they can take to protect birds (building a shelter), they involved their neighbors. Everyone in the visibly diverse* neighborhood gets on board – it's so easy, how could you not? – and they have a real impact on the environment.

The story progresses naturally, inviting readers of all ages to accompany the family as they learn and grow. Each new fact that Callum and Emmy learn prompts them to ask another question or investigate further until they are experts on bird sanctuaries and everything tangential. The way that they communicate with their neighbors sets an excellent example for how to live in a community with open and honest communication. Everything about the neighborhood project is inspiring and attainable. Back matter includes more information about threats to bird, simple actions to take, and resources to access.

T is eager to install a birdbath in our front garden and build the stick-and-log shelter that the children built. We already have big undertakings afoot in our yard, and it's exciting for me to see T so excited to carry out his new bird-related plans.

A Garden to Save the Birds resonated with us and inspires us. Now we just need to refill those feeders out back!

*Characters are shown with various skin tones; last names indicate Hispanic, European, and Asian roots; a range of family groupings are shown, including, but not limited to, a single-parent household, a bachelor, and two adult men.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher for our honest review.