Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Birdman by Veronika Martenova Charles

This is a beautiful picture book published by Tundra Books. The illustrators are Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stephen Daigle. It has fascinating artwork with a real ethnic feel, that takes you right into the story which is set in Calcutta.

Nobi worked seven days a week from dawn to dusk to feed his little ones. And he was working when an accident happened and he lost his family.

He lost his will to continue then, and didn't go back to work. He just wandered the streets of Calcutta without seeing anyone or talking to anyone.

One day he wanders far enough to find a merchant who sells birds. With his last bit of money, he buys the sick, leftover birds and takes them home. He nurses them back to health, and then he sets them free.

He also goes back to work and continues to buy those birds who are less than perfect and keeps healing them up and releasing to their freedom again. It gives him a new goal in life and makes his life have meaning again.

The most impressive thing about this children's picture book is that there really is a Nobi in Calcutta doing this - it's a true story! There are photos at the back of the book showing him at work and in his new life.

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