For the Birds


54 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-88894-825-5
DDC j598.25





Illustrations by John Bianchi
Reviewed by Alice Kidd

Alice Kidd is an editor with The New Catalyst editorial collective in
Lillooet, B.C.


“If you would understand someone else, walk a mile in their moccasins.
. . .” A many-miles journey as a bird transforms a young girl named
Samantha, who didn’t think much of birds. Satisfying the basic needs
for food, shelter, and security is quite different for the birds, she
discovers. Samantha has some exciting adventures before she returns home
with a much-different opinion of birds.

Shelley Tanaka’s brief, factual asides complement Atwood’s
narrative. They include information on flying and on tropical
rainforests. Equally interesting are the suggestions for becoming a
birder, planting a bird garden, and setting up a feeder. The book is
both a good story and a learning experience. I have found, though, that
it is the story that pulls kids in. They find the sidebars interesting
if read aloud but they rarely read them for themselves the first time.
The illustrations pull the book together: Bianchi conveys a bird’s-eye
view with some humor and much delight.

This book is best shared. The questions it raises and the projects it
suggests are excellent material for family or class discussions. It
could even be the beginning of a number of similar journeys of the


Atwood, Margaret., “For the Birds,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024,