The Woman Who Turned Children into Birds

The Woman Who Turned Children into Birds
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
October 18, 2022
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Master storyteller David Almond’s whimsical story about freedom, imagination, and daring all but soars off the page, paired with exquisite paintings by Laura Carlin.

“Go on. Be happy. Off you fly!”

A charming tale from a beloved storyteller and award-winning illustrator urges readers of all ages to take chances and find joy. Nanty Solo is new in town and claims she can turn children into birds. Terrified parents forbid the idea, but the children want to fly—they want it very much—and they do. One by one, they approach Nanty Solo. One by one, they are transformed until the sky over town teems with rooks and goldfinches, parakeets and sparrows. The adults take one look and cry, “Get out of that sky this very minute!” But the sight of their offspring—set free to soar, hope, and explore—soon has the grown-ups wondering what it might be like to have wings to fly and a beak to sing. The lilting, dreamy tale, told in David Almond’s inimitable voice and playfully illustrated, assures us it’s never too late to say yes to life.

Editor review

1 review
Embrace Joy and Your inner Child
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
A new woman in town claims to have the ability to change children into birds so they can fly high in the sky. Word of her special talent spreads by rumors from both the children and their parents. While the children are intrigued, the parents warn their kids to stay away from her. They believe no good comes from someone who can turn children into birds while the children let their imagination soar of all the things they can do as a bird.

THE WOMAN WHO TURNED CHILDREN INTO BIRDS is a silly tale that teaches the importance of letting go and feeling free. The illustrations are whimsical and more on the abstract with softer color tones. While this book might not be for everyone because of the oddity of it, my daughter and I enjoyed it with a smile. It's also thought provoking because it got my daughter talking about what she would do if she could fly.

Final Verdict: I would recommend this to children who enjoy stories full of adventure that sparks their imagination. It might also be good for a preschool story time.
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