Fly Like a Bird

Spring is peeking her blossoming head out around the muddy corners of my world.  I can feel her warmth.  I can imagine her color.  I long for spring, for the pussy willows, the golden forsythia, and the pastels of the crocuses.  March is on the verge of bestowing full green upon the world.  I can hear it in the birds that perch above my feeder, bright flashes of blue and red, wonderful displays of white-tipped browns and grays. 

Since I was a child, birds have held a special place in my imagination, always wanting to have had the ability to fly, to swoop and to soar into the great blue beyond.  Every spring, I become preoccupied with the fledglings, hoping they would make safe flights.  However, once in a while my friends and I would find an injured one beneath a tree and nurse it back to health.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren’t. But we never gave up hope.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all…

-Emily Dickinson

Nothing expresses hope and determination more than Cory R. Tabor’s picture book Mel Fell, which won a Caldecott Honor Award in 2021.  The book’s format is exciting and innovative.  The reader has to turn the book to read it as Mel falls and then again as Mel flies. Mel is a fearless fledgling Kingfisher.  She boldly sets out on the edge of a branch one day and launches herself into the air.  She falls beak first past owls, squirrels, bees, a spider, a snail, ants and a ladybug.  But never fear! Mel splashes down into a pond, catches a fish, and flies back to her nest. This simple story recounts the tribulations and triumphs of one small and daring bird. It helps us to remember the importance of giving it a go and the jubilation in a job well done.

Books for Bird Lovers

  1. Bird Count by Susan Edward Richmond
  2. Birds by Carme Lemiscates
  3. Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds and Me by Susan L. Roth
  4. Bird Watch by Christie Matheson
  5. Counting Birds: The Idea that Helped Our Feathered Friends by Clover Robin
  6. Fly with me by Jane Yolen
  7. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  8. Nest by Jorey Hurley
  9. No Two Alike by Keith Baker
  10. Numenia and the Hurricane by Fiona Halliday
  11. On the Wing by Doug Florian
  12. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
  13. Paddle Perch Climb: Birds Feet are Neat by Laurie Ellen Angus
  14. Red & Lulu by Matt Taveres
  15. Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson
  16. Superlative Birds by Leslie Bulion
  17. The Big Book of Birds by Yuval Zommer

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