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children's 8-12

Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual

Kate Samworth.
Publisher Clarion  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 11.25 x 9.3 x 0.35 inches
ISBN 9780547978994
Pages/Publication Date 32/2014
Daedalus Item Code 54360
This item is not available.
(Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature) Purportedly a catalog for a future company that makes artificial birds, this utterly unique picture book for readers 10 to adult is in fact a subtle and beautifully crafted cautionary tale on what will be lost when we have failed to care for our world sufficiently and our birds are largely gone. Illustrator Kate Samworth has rendered this tantalizingly believable catalog in a hand-crafted style reminiscent of seed and supply catalogs from a century ago. It includes advice from Aviary Wonders on how to order beaks, feet, wings, and other components that will result in a harmonious bird design, as well as assembly instructions, tips on training your bird, and troubleshooting suggestions.

"A picture book that widens the definition of the genre. While truly a picture book, it was created for readers aged 10 and up with well-developed sensibilities and senses of humor. Confronting environmental issues in a clever and whimsical way, it is original, highly unexpected, beautiful, and thought-provoking. Aviary Wonders Inc. is by far one of the most creative books we have ever encountered."—Kirkus Prize judges statement

"Here's how the book opens: 'Some species are disappearing. Others are already gone. Not to worry! Aviary Wonders Inc. has the solution.'... Deadpan rather than didactic in presentation, this is an original, somewhat disturbing, and wholeheartedly bizarre (but in a good way!) picture book for older children. An accomplished artist working here in oil, ink, graphite, and colored pencil, Samworth is equally adept at drawing the swoops and spirals of birds in flight or painting the richly colored and patterned bird parts in the opulent catalog. Though set in the future, the presentation has a distinctly vintage quality. The more the text delves into the intricacies of bird construction, behavior, and care, the more realistic it sounds, and the crazier it becomes. Reflective readers will soon reach the unstated but inescapable conclusion: birds are awesome creatures, and once gone, they're simply irreplaceable. An impressive picture-book debut."—Booklist (starred review)

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