Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Powerful, lovely, slightly unsettling

This "picture book" was not quite what I was expecting.

It was much more enjoyable and wondrous. This is a story told in a very unique way. A story about the environment, about humanity's influence on the planet, and about the wild diversity of life that deserves to be preserved.

The story is told through the use of Aviary Wonders Inc.'s Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual; Aviary Wonders Inc. is renowned for renewing the world's bird supply since 2031! In this fictional, yet creepily authentic, catalog readers will discover one possible future for the world's vast diversity of bird life.

In the future, bird will face many dangers. Not the least of which is cats, but others should also be considered: habitat loss, insecticides, and the exotic pet trade. Aviary Wonders Inc. has the solution to the dwindling variety of animals that we'll face in the future. This solution is a custom built pet, designed to your specification and with your needs in mind.
Choose from a breathtaking variety of hand-painted patterns, color palettes, and designs for your new pet. Keep in mind that you will have to adhere to some restrictions, simply for your bird's most optimal functioning. Other than that, the sky is the limit! Choose fancifully patterned display tails and streamers, elaborate wings, intricate flight patterns, and even custom beaks.
The catalog comes complete with instructions for putting your new pet together when you receive it by mail. The instructions are quite specific and feature detailed diagrams, as well as answers to frequent troubling questions regarding construction and installation of parts.

My only concern was for the bird body itself - is this a mechanical body? Is this a real bird body without a beak, without legs or a tail? My goodness, these poor creatures! But no matter, as a world-wide provider of loved pets I'm sure Aviary Wonders Inc. knows what they're doing. . .right?

I absolutely loved this book. However, it is not for a sensitive child. While the message of preserving the diversity of our planet is important, there are some aspects of the book that some kids may find disturbing. Actually, I found some of it disturbing. But in a "oh, that's so weird I can't stop staring at it" kind of way. So if you're looking for a wholly unique take on environmentalism and picture books, pick up the Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual from Aviary Wonders Inc. - a delightful addition to any animal-lover's collection.

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