By Bennett Duncan
My Beautiful Birds, written and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo, is a beautiful book that will help get your child reading.
It’s also timely, focusing on a young boy named Sami, whose family has fled from Syria. His “beautiful birds” are a metaphor for hope.
This is a good book to read to your child as a bedtime story. The way language is used in the book is beautifully poetic, and even soothing. Alliteration is used throughout the book and makes an impact on the reader without them even noticing it, for example: “Sometimes the dry wind wafts soft music through the camp.” Your child likely wouldn’t notice the use of language, but it paints a picture of a gentle breeze blowing through the area. Lines like this are what will get your child hooked on reading, as they realize that a vivid image can be painted in their head from just a simple line or paragraph. The child won’t be able to wait until the next plot advancement or change in scenery.
Many bedtime stories have hidden lessons and this is no exception, the lesson being that there is always hope, even in the darkest of times. Also, this story tells a tale that could have taken hundreds of pages, and beautifully condenses it into 32 pages.
Which brings us to the stunning clay art pictures. Del Rizzo’s gorgeous sculptures (polymer clay and acrylics, not plasticine, as stated in a previous version of this review) bring the story to life. The emotions conveyed in just the pictures alone will further strengthen the picture in your child’s mind that has been depicted by the strong descriptive vocabulary.
More information about My Beautiful Birds on the publisher’s website here.
This book was reviewed from an advance reader copy (ARC) supplied by the publisher.