Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual
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Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Since 2031, Aviary Wonders Inc. has offered bird lovers a unique opportunity: Assemble your own bird from stunningly beautiful and carefully hand-crafted parts. The birds can even be taught to fly and to sing! This slyly satirical crafter's delight is offered as the perfect antidote to extinction of birds in the wild.

Brilliantly illustrated with oil paintings and filled wi...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Clarion Books
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Laura
What a cool book, though the premise is one that's a bit disturbing. Even though birds are extinct, Aviary Wonders Inc has been supplying birds since 2031. Simply select your bird parts -- feathers, body, beaks, tails, and so forth -- and then assemble the parts at home. The book includes instructions for teaching a bird to fly and sing as well as trouble-shooting tips. The final page of the book includes an order form.

What a clever and interesting idea. This is a book that may not have wide ap...more
Karen
Pair this edgy environmental satire with nonfiction about endangered species and give them to middle school and upper elementary readers who think they are too sophisticated for picture books. In 2031, Aviary Wonders, Inc. has the solution to endangered and extinct birds. Build your own imitation using their made-to-order kit. The legs are clockwork, but the base "bird" arrives alive - wing-less, tail-less, beak-less, and ready for feeding, assembly, training, and troubleshooting. Gorgeous illus...more
Phoebe
Samworth's book is unusual and memorable, but I don't know how kid-friendly it is, with its satirical message and ironic tone. The idea of building your own bird may appeal to young readers, especially when they understand the premise of the book, that due to environmental hazards, exotic pet trade, and CATS, there are no longer any live birds. Meticulously illustrated, the book is a thing of beauty. I did find slightly creepy the pictures of bird parts, especially the pages of birds without bea...more
Carrie Gelson
This book is swoon worthy! And seriously odd at the same time. I loved it!
The delight and hilarity in creating quite preposterous birds is tempered by the underlying feeling the reader has throughout: What if such a catalog was actually real? Necessary?
My advice? Find this book and savour its creative energy. Think about how to have fun with this is in the classroom. I'm thinking art projects, some of our own question and answer writing . . . And then? Head outside. Watch for birds. Celebrate t...more
Ms. Yingling
I wasn't quite sure how to categorize this book, but finally decided that it is fantasy nonfiction. That is, a nonfiction, informational book on an imaginary subject! Based on the premise that most of the birds in the world are extinct by 2031, this book pretends to be a catalog of bird parts for sale that can then be assembled into an actual bird. The pages almost count as information about different types of birds-- the different beaks, feet, feathers and other features are described a bit. Th...more
Holly
This a strange but intriguing book that makes an environmental point about what might happen if we allow birds to go extinct. The illustrations manage to be beautiful and disturbing at the same time. I look forward to more by this new author/illustrator.
Nicole
Aviary Wonders Inc. by Kate Samworth
Clarion Books, 2014
Fantasy
32 pages
Recommended for grades 2+

I first came across this on another blogger's Monday post. Immediately I was drawn to the beautiful cover art, and being a bird lover I just typed in the title and requested the book through the library.
Well...I blindly opened this one up only to be terrified!! Ugh, what a sad dose of reality covered in layers of beauty and fantasy.
Just in case you are like I was, totally unaware of this book's premise...more
Kara

A mix of science fiction and science geared towards an elementary school level audience. The premise of a company in the future where you can custom order your very own pet bird to assemble yourself is a wonderful springboard into a lesson on the different types of birds and how their different types of wings, beaks, etc., work.
Raina
Quirky little book. Didn't keep me riveted to every word, but the pictures are pretty. Some of the captions felt like they might be aimed at the contemporary reader, instead of the future reader of the conceit, so it didn't feel totally consistent. But that could just be how I read them. Neat idea.
Carol
Have all of the birds gone extinct? Not to worry, now you can build your own bird with the "Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction manual. This is a funny but disturbing look at a world where there are no longer any birds.
Libby
Sometimes a fiction book is so descriptive that it seems so REAL. That is how my daughter experienced this book. In the end I had to work to convince her that it is not actually possible to build a bird. "But they have an order form!" she insisted. I am so excited that we were able to learn about flight patterns based on wing shapes, the eating habits of birds based on beak shapes, and many more details while so actively engaging our imaginations. The book is outstanding because it offers us the...more
Liz Todd
Ok, slightly disturbing, but this book is just AMAZING in so many ways. The illustrations are fascinating, and the little side-text bits were awesome. If i was teaching the old 6-traits "voice" to a class of middle school students, this would be the book to run to.. I loved the tone of this book and.... the weirdness. There is definitely an underlying message here... My own thoughts went to the awesomeness of God's Creation and our inability to "make" a bird. And, of course, the conservation mes...more
Beth
This book is so incredibly bizarre, yet in the best way possible. It's difficult to describe, you just need to experience it for yourself.
Liz
Providing examples and instructions on how to order and assembly a bird, the Aviary Wonders, Inc. spring catalog and instruction manual offers a solution to the failing bird populations in our not-too-distant future (just 2031). A humorous look at what we may be facing as a planet as birds are threatened with extinction from insecticides, habitat destruction, and the exotic pet trade, Samworth has created a lusciously, richly illustrated new picture book. Be careful though, if not assembled corr...more
Mrs. Knott
Oh, this book is so so neat because of its originality! I can see how it has been taken in a couple of different directions. Most people admire the idea and illustrations and thought behind this book. Some people think it's a little creepy. I can see that. Some of the illustrations of the birds without the beaks are a little weird. I didn't love the illustrations in the back that detail how to "assemble your bird". But the rest of the book is sheer genius, in my opinion. The illustrations are am...more
Tasha
Birds are steadily going extinct, but Aviary Wonders Inc. has the solution. Ever since 2031, they have been providing a fun and engaging way to create your own avian companion. Each bird is made up of high-quality parts that you can put together in unique ways that never existed in nature. You can keep your bird or set it free. Teach it to sing and fly. Assembly is as easy as putting together a book case. To get started, just select the body type that you want to start with. After that, you can...more
Janet
What a cool book! Despite the title, it is not REALLY an Aviary Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual. It is a fictional catalog a person could use to purchase and assemble their very own mix-and-match bird. The customer can select the feathers, beak, body,tail, wings and other features that they'd like their bird to have.

It could be an interesting supplement to a biology unit about birds....


Kristina Lareau
This book is...something to behold. Part parody, part cautionary, part informative, it also blends a retro-futurist approach to nature: engineering birds as pets to replace the species that have gone extinct. It is clever, and harkens back to the early Sears catalogs (that were first published in 1888) in its approach.

It is as entertaining as it is scary. It sells a future that I do not like--one with diminished real birds. As I finished this book, I kept wondering if the bird bodies were alive...more
Ashley
This book is a wonder to look at. With beautiful and colorful illustrations and matter of fact text readers will be captivated with the idea of building their own bird. However the matter of fact nature of the text also takes away from the fantastical element and there is no plot proper.

Nonetheless a beautiful addition to any type of collection. Particularly for animal or bird enthusiasts.
Jess
Part picture book, part J Peterman catalog. I originally picked this up because Ted loves birding, but I also fell for the witty descriptions of the bird parts for sale and the hilarious troubleshooting page. On top of all that Samworth's illustrations are bright, detailed, and gorgeous.
Rachel
I like the layout, design, and imagination of this book, but I'm not sure it really conveys what it's intent is, if that is that it's supposed to help us understand and work towards helping real birds not go extinct. I really wonder if especially younger kids will get the irony here.
Bernadette
I liked this book. Would do better for older children who may actually understand. It's silly when you see the wrong parts paired together on each bird. The reality of the book is unfortunate, and I think younger readers may not grasp this immediately. Not necessarily a "picture book".
Ashley
Beautiful, funny and a bit dark. Birds in the wild are extinct, but people can order wingless/beakless/legless birds and create their own to either keep or set free. A funny, colourful book, with enough information to ponder the beautiful genius and fragility of nature.
Marcia Wells
This book is amazing! Beautiful pictures, entertaining and creative descriptions, and haunting lessons about what happens when we let animals go extinct. My ten-year-old son was fascinated with the whole concept, and so was I!
Gigi
Hmm, sort of fiction, sort of nonfiction. This interesting, if not a tad creepy, book gets at how different body parts of a bird are adapted for certain jobs. It is visually interesting. Not sure kids will love it.
hannah
Mar 28, 2014 hannah added it
Shelves: picture-books
This is kind of perfect, if also morbid, weird, and ridiculous. One of those picturebooks that both kids and adults will love, and for totally different reasons that probably won't intersect at all.
Anne
Very interesting concept -- not sure what child would pick this up to read or even understand without further explanation. Illustrations are eerie, but very beautiful.
Autumn
Pointed satire about how a corporation will ruin everything good and then try to sell a replacement back to you. Super sad, darkly funny, gorgeous illustrations.
Heather
FABULOUS, creative, unique.

This is a book of parts to build your own unique bird. I especially like the "flight patterns". Love it!
Emma (Miss Print)
This is fantastic. Fantasy with a touch of reality for bird anatomy and building along with gorgeous illustrations.
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