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Cooperation and friendship are the key to a safe return in BENJAMIN BIRDIE’S FIRST FLIGHT

By Michael Dotsikas

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IR Rating:
4.5
An encouraging story about cooperation, BENJAMIN BIRDIE’S FIRST FLIGHT educates children on the plight of endangered species.

An impatient little bird is determined to get the early worm leaves its nest too early in this charming children’s story about cooperation.

Young Benjamin Birdie cannot wait to spread his wings. When Mama bird is away looking for lunch, impatient Benjamin takes to the skies . . . for a few moments. Then, he begins to fall. As he falls, he sees numerous different animals in and around the tree. When he lands, Benjamin turns to these animals for assistance to get back to his nest. But, the nest is so high that not one animal can reach the nest. How will Benjamin get back home?

BENJAMIN BIRDIE’S FIRST FLIGHT is a sweet story about cooperation and friendship, as well as the perils of not taking mother’s advice. A simple rhyme scheme conveys the story, with a light tone and recurring pattern that emphasizes the theme of the animals helping the impulsive little bird. While rhyming scheme and the story are endearing and engaging, it is the lovable expressions of the animals and the muted earth tones of the vintage-style illustrations that are captivating. The versatile layout of the illustrations include single full page illustrations as well as vertical, double page spreads adds a dynamic element to the story and emphasizes the height that Benjamin must climb in order to get home. The font and layout of different shapes and sizes highlights words like “big”, “towering” and “S-t-r-e-e-e-e-e-e-t-c-h-i-n-g”.

The tree dwelling friends are reintroduced in a mini fact bio at the back of the book – the illustration of the animal holding an actual photograph of the animal. The animals range from more commonly recognized elephants and snakes to more unusual animals such as the cuscus and tarsier. Their detailed bios include their status as protected, threatened or endangered species provide an educational aspect to the story. A portion of the proceeds support organizations that bring awareness to the plight of endangered species worldwide.

The only element that detracts from the otherwise seamless layout is the last page of the story that faces the rear inside cover design, which is part of a fuller design that appears on the inside of the front inside cover. The partial design is somewhat distracting and the two last pages compete for attention, giving a sense that the book ends abruptly. This could be avoided with an extra page to separate the end of the story from the back cover.

An encouraging story about cooperation, BENJAMIN BIRDIE’S FIRST FLIGHT educates children on the plight of endangered species.

~IndieReader.

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