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Summary: Basil the janitor is tasked with getting rid of the birds that are building nests all over Perch Elementary School. When he falls asleep on the slide, a bird builds a nest on his head! He walks around with this nest on his head, and grows quite fond of the bird and her babies. When they fly away, he becomes lonely, but they come back to give him a special Father's Day gift! This picture book has a special story about love, compassion, and friendship.
Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Young Reader Reaction: My boys picked out and liked when I read this book, and we ended up reading it several times. I actually had issues with the story because the janitor claimed he was the father of the birds - just a bit disturbing to me.
Adult Reader Reaction: I did not like this book at all. The subject matter was fine, but I found the illustrations obnoxious and disturbing. The technique looked like a first grader painted the pictures. The eyelashes on the people were large -- if you are afraid of clowns, I'd avoid this book.
Pros: Readers will discover an unusual story. Kids might be able to relate to it because it is based around a school. It also creates an unlikely hero out of an atypical character -- the janitor.
Cons: The author had an opportunity to create a wonderful medium for conveying knowledge of bird behavior and ecology, but missed the boat entirely. This is a wholly unsophisticated storyline with details that beg for something a little more. With the variety of books available on the market, there are MANY to choose from that bring more value to a reading than this book.
Borrow or Buy: Skip. Poorly written, poorly illustrated, uninspiring. With so many books, no need to spend time on this one.
Educational Themes: This is more about entertainment than learning.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, life lessons, school
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2012
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. No reader feedback found.