Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and forty-five

When people are lonely, they often try to build a family for themselves to fill the void. Sometimes they find people who become their family, and sometimes they have animals who fulfill that role. In today's picture book you will meet a lady who adopts a wild bird, who grows to love it, and who makes an important discovery.

Quentin Blake
Picture Book
Ages 5 and up
Peachtree, 2002, 1-56145-282-3
One morning, just after a fierce wind storm, Angela Bowling sets off for the village. In addition to the usual fallen branches and leaves, Angela finds out that the wind has brought down a baby bird. Being a kind and softhearted woman, Angela decides that the little bird needs someone to look after it and she takes on the job.
   Soon little “Augustus” is wrapped up in a shawl and a sweater and is being fed all sorts of food. One cannot help wondering whether the food Angela gives Augustus is suitable for a baby bird, but nevertheless, the bird seems to thrive on it. Angela gets a stroller to move her precious cargo about the village, and she buys him the best food available.
    All this “best things to eat” business soon makes Augustus a very large bird indeed, and Angela has to build him a shed to live in. Moving him around in a stroller becomes a thing of the past. Then there is another big storm and something happens to Augustus that makes poor Angela Bowling realize that her precious “Loveykins” has changed a great deal.
   In this funny and delightful book, Quentin Blake gives us a wonderful look at the simple and giving nature of a woman who is probably lonely and who needs someone to look after. He also shows us that we cannot keep a wild animal locked up forever, how it has to be free. 

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