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She's Wearing a Dead Bird On Her Head!
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She's Wearing a Dead Bird On Her Head!

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A fictionalized account of the activities of Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall, founders of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, a late nineteenth-century Audubon Society that would endure and have impact on the bird-protection movement.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 10th 1995 by Hyperion Book
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Lisa Vegan
Feb 25, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bird lovers; history buffs
This is such a serious subject, in my opinion, but it was a fun book too. The story and pictures both had a lot of humor, and it was done tastefully, as it was very respectful of the subject and the women featured.

Before I read this book, I had no idea how/why the (in this case the Massachusetts) Audubon Society was formed, nor did I know its connection to the Suffrage movement. This is a historical fiction account of the two women who were the force behind this organization. There’s an author’s
Jan 01, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This story was selected as one of the books for the March 2010 - Outstanding Women reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Jun 29, 2015 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom, dad
This is a good book to read after "The boy who loved to draw birds". It talks about women and men who formed a club to save the birds and they called it the Audubon Society after John Audubon.
Dec 17, 2014 Zack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud
I would choose this book as a read aloud because it's an incredibly fun history lesson and the main characters are very lovable. The story is an interesting part of American history that should be talked about since the message of both environmental activism and women not being defined by the clothes they wear is still very valid even in this century.
The story is about two women trying to end a fashion that involves the killing of birds so they can be stuffed and mounted on women's hats in the e
Scowls, gasps and frowns abound in this surprisingly informative yet thoroughly entertaining account of the Audubon Society, its origins and its triumph over the silliness of the dead-bird fashion industry.

Listen to our chat about this book on the Children's Book Podcast.
Apr 11, 2009 C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I like this one most for its historical value--women's history. But it is a nice historical children's book in that the story is actually entertaining and the illustrations engaging. I think we just have to have more women's history in our children's repertoire.
Tricia Douglas
Thanks to my Goodreads buddies for putting me onto this wonderful book. Basically, this is the story behind the women who helped start the Audubon Society. When women's hats were becoming adorned with actual birds instead of just their feathers, Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall said enough was enough. This was in the late 1890s when women had little claim to power or course of action even when it came to voting rights. These two women took the bird movement to new level and became involved in bir ...more
Sep 17, 2014 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightfully illustrated history book for children about two proper Boston society ladies who have good manners and absolutely no tolerance for birds being used as fashion accents, especially on fancy ladies' hats. So Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall set out to do something about it, helping to establish the Audubon Society along the way, and present some of the earliest efforts of the women's suffrage movement to change society for the better. Recommended, especially for nature lovers and pictur ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Peacegal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humane-education
This is an inspiring, colorfully-illustrated book about two early 20th century women who singlehandedly took on the then-popular feathered hat trade. During the height of this absurd fashion craze, hundreds of millions of wild birds were slaughtered for vanity, wiping some species out entirely.

Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall started the first chapter of the Audubon society to spread the word about the damage of the feather trade and pass laws to protect birds. Ironically, the famous
Miss Amanda
gr k-2 illustrated fiction

1896, Boston, MA. Tells the story of how cousins Mina Hall and Harriet Hemenway, horrified that bird feathers and even dead birds were being used to decorate hats, founded the Audubon Society and helped get laws passed against using birds and bird feathers to decorate hats.

Great story. Nice balance of illustrations/text. I liked the illustrations.
Abbey Madison
This story is a historically-based story of the events between Minna Hall and Harriet Hemenway and their forming of a club to protect birds. It shows the start of the Audubon Society in a artistic and witty way. I would use this in a 3rd or 4th grade classroom.
Lin Lin
Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall were instrumental women that protected birds from being killed in a time when people wore dead birds and feathers on their hats. They established the Audubon Society in Massachusetts and the Society continued to protect endangered species.
Sam Grace
Oct 05, 2015 Sam Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: feminists, environmentalists, historians, and parents of activist children
Fun illustrations and a fun story, this is going on the list for books I plan to educate my kids with.

The two women who founded the Audubon society had the kind of indignation I really connected with as a kid, and their response was equally comprehensible. Upper class white ladies, they started a letter-writing campaign shaming their peers into swearing off the dead-bird hats that was making birds go extinct, they started a club, they went around organizing, and when they managed to change polic
May 12, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an educational book that featured something in history that I had never heard about. By putting it in the form of a picture book and having fun illustrations it did not feel educational or tedious at all. I was interested in the story and how things would work out and I still got a vivid picture of what it might have looked like at that time period. Kudos to the authors for creating a book that would appeal to a wide range of audience and still have an easy format. I would pro ...more
Patty Morrison
Oct 01, 2015 Patty Morrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Women in 1896 were considered second class citizens...and yet these women found a way to protect the birds, change and enforce law! A 'featherless hats' off to the author and illustrator! What a great kids book!
Oct 21, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it
A fictionalized account of the founding of the Massachusetts Audubon Society begun by Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall. When birds began appearing on fashionable ladies hats, Minna nd Harriet went into action appealing to all who would hear them to stop the senseless killing and the potential endangerment and extinction of many species of birds. The story is kid-friendly and the illustrations are colorful and really bring home the point of the story.

A great introduction for saving our species an
Childhood favorite that I still have on my shelf!
Feb 09, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adults, who won't read children's books, miss out on so much. This book is an excellent example of an interesting incident in American history that is basically unknown to most adults. As always Kathryn Lasky has written an great story and the illustrations by David Catrow are colorful and delightful. I especially appreciated Lasky's "Author's Note: at the end which gave more information about the main characters Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall as well as the link between the Audubon movement an ...more
Ms. Lasky is one of my favorite authors of nonfiction books. She did yet another wonderful job of making the topic of conservation and an environmental movement funny yet serious. I'm not sure why the artists won an award for his work though; while the illustrations are nice enough, it's really the writing that shines in this book. He made Harriet and Minna look like two dour old ladies who frown on everything.
Caitlin Barclay
This is an entertaining history storybook if there ever was one! This story tells the story of the Audobon Society and touches on women's suffrage movements. This book does a great job of putting it into a real-life plot rather than just spitting out facts. I think students will enjoy this book because of how it is written and also because it is information that is not usually brought up in the classroom!
About two women's quest to save the birds. Focusing on the ban of feathers/birds on hats (this is the turn of the century)- there are even comments against hunting ducks and eating songbird pie- the story follows two cousins who began the Audubon Society. Very cute, and especially a great read for girls- the female cousins start organizing, go undercover, it's great! All white folks.
Apr 17, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ReReading Rainbow: A Three Hat Day
I don't usually love this type of illustration -- too frentic/ugly but in this book it worked to illustrate the craziness of wearing birds on hats and the energy and brazeness of their rescuers. It was a bit confusing to read but we loved the topic and learning the history of the Audubon Society.
David Catrow's illustrations make it worth looking at this book. It turns out the story is based on the truth of the beginnings of the Audubon Society and the two main characters are real. But, it was a lengthy story and I just am not convinced a child would stay with it, I didn't as an adult.
Robin Rousu
This picture book about the founding of the Audubon Society is a solid socially conscious read-aloud for 5-7 year olds. Any younger and it gets too long and all the illustrations of dead birds can be a bit much. Well-written, well-illustrated, and a nice balance of the serious and the silly.
Nathan Willard
This book is hilarious. While the prime story of the creation of the Audobon Society is interesting, it is written in exactly the style you would have expected from stereotypical early 20th-century Boston Brahmins unable to speak to children, but unaware of their weaknesses.
The ladies in the town are wearing rare and endangered birds on their hats as fashion. One young lady decides to take a stand and stop all the needless killing of these beautiful birds. A great read aloud for all ages and a great read alone for third grade and above.
Apr 16, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Chandra
Well! This was fun, educational, and entertaining! My niece seemed to enjoy the story quite well, and both she and my nephew enjoyed the pictures! I enjoyed reading this one--the voice and demeanor of Miss Minna were lots of fun to bring to life!
Jun 12, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young girls, fashionistas, bird lovers, animal activists, community organizers, naturalists
So good! Woman's rights, animal rights. The founding of the Audubon Society.Women who love fashion but will not sacrifice any lives for the sake of it.
Beautiful illustrations!!

"Well behaved women rarely make herstory"
Lois V.
Jan 21, 2013 Lois V. rated it really liked it
Fun text and hilarious illustrations carry this story about the activities of two founders of the MA Audubon Soc. that influenced bird-protection laws and women's right to vote, A.N. explains reason for writing fiction.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Interested in an entertaining version about how the Audubon Society was created? Lasky tells the story of 2 women in the 1800's who created the Audubon Society and stopped the killing of birds for decorative purposes.
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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