It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday!
This book is swoon worthy! And seriously odd at the same time. Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth
Unique and in many ways is difficult to categorize. It is a picture book. That’s an easy one. Beyond that – it gets interesting. There is a fantasy element to it and it does have a “fiction” feel. But I love books that blend genres. I am calling this a nonfiction title as well. It’s part instruction manual. Part bird anatomy. Part a warning to avoid bird extinction. All of these things fall in the nonfiction realm*. Thus, I have decided to share this beautiful book on nonfiction picture book day!
*Not everyone will agree but I think the instruction manual aspect tips it over the edge to favour my creative license on categorization. And heck, I’m writing this blog . . .
Quickly head over to Seven Impossible Things and take a peek at the inside images.
So what can you learn from this book – set if you look carefully at the title – in 2031? How to build your own bird of course! This book includes an order form, details about all of the parts and some helpful assembly instructions. Always keep balance and proportion in mind seems to be a big theme.
Beyond patience and optimism, this handbook explains, you will need the right parts. And right parts are here in gorgeous, colourful glory. With details beyond your wildest imagination. Like impressionist tinted feathers, Persian designs on the beaks and Wattles and Combs with names such as Beethoven and Aphrodite. (Haven’t gone to look at the inside pages? Go! See link above)
The delight and hilarity in creating quite preposterous birds is tempered by the underlying feeling the reader has throughout: What if such a catalog was actually real? Necessary? The book jacket warns:
. . . that it’s not really a catalog at all. It’s a dark and funny look at what might happen if we let natural habitats disappear.
Favourite pages for me?
- The two page spread about Flight Patterns. Choose wing shape carefully for the type of flight you want your bird to be able to accomplish
- The images for Steps 3 and 4 Attaching the Tail and Attaching the Legs
- Troubleshooting pages which features questions (with attached images) and answers such as what should one do if the bird has been taught to sing an annoying song and won’t stop. The answer, if you are curious, suggests attaching a full set of wings and “sharing” your bird with the world! (In other words – fly far away and sing to someone else!)
- The end pages are gorgeous drawings of bird parts.
- And not a page at all, but please peek under the book jacket!
My advice? Find this book and savour its creative energy. Think about how to have fun with this is in the classroom. I’m thinking art projects, some of our own question and answer writing . . . And then? Head outside. Watch for birds. Celebrate their natural beauty. Their form and function. Their freedom and wild natures. Their song.
In case you, like me, were wondering just what else Kate Samworth has done . . . this is her first book. Her website is here.
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction titles.
My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 41/65 complete!