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BIRDS ON WISHBONE STREET by Suzanne Del Rizzo Kirkus Star


by Suzanne Del Rizzo ; illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-77278-219-6
Publisher: Pajama Press

Everyone on Wishbone Street came from somewhere, bringing with them histories, languages, stories, and more.

Maureen, a White girl whose father is from Ireland, lives there. When a new boy moves to her street at the brink of winter, she finds out that they share a love of birds and gifts him a feather. Sami shows Maureen his “treasures,” brought over from Syria to Canada, via a refugee camp. (Readers of Del Rizzo’s 2017 title, My Beautiful Birds, will recognize Sami’s story.) Now friends, the kids have a blast with the first snow of the season, until suddenly they come across a fallen bird. With everyone pitching in, the children, together with adult members of the community, manage to save it. They go further by putting together both shelter and sources of food for the birds during the rough winter. (Step-by-step instructions are included at the end of the book.) Del Rizzo illustrates with elaborate clay modeling combined with other media; the three-dimensional look ignites interest and gives the pictures a special warmth. The story centers care for others and nature as well as focusing on people’s shared humanity. While it does not detail Sami’s refugee experience or the various backgrounds of Wishbone Street’s diverse community, its content provides many possible openings for further learning and discussion. The diverse protagonists are all capable, resourceful individuals who may be sad sometimes but have an immense ability to enjoy life.

An exquisite book, in content and illustration, about love, movement, and shared humanity: a keeper.

(Picture book. 5-8)