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Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  155 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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  517 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Marjorie Ingall
It's as if Terry Gilliam's Brazil and The Vermont Country Store had a baby!

This is a weird and gorgeous oversized picture book for older kids and adults. Aviary Wonders Inc. is a venerable catalog that has let you, the customer, build your own bird since 2031! (What with actual birds of course being extinct or nearly so.) It's a subtle warning about environment irresponsibility and a mockery of consumerism, with ravishing illustrations. Funny, creepy and sad. The author thanks David Wiesner (of
Nostalgia Reader
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

An awesome idea for a book. The illustrations were gorgeous, and I loved the historical name dropping in regards to naming certain parts, and company's "founder". The commentary on the environment is kept minimal, with a few highlights of extinct/endangered birds scattered throughout the parts pages. It would be a fun addition to grade or middle school enviro. units/curriculum, but it's also simply a fun book too look through! I do wish it would have been a bit longer, however, either
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, children-s, 2014
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
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Here's hoping that youngsters reading this will be inspired to keep their cats indoors and do other things to protect loss of birds, so as to prevent a catalog like this from becoming a reality.

Note the details, including the owner's bio on the copyright page.

If it weren't such a sad subject, it would be an amusing book. It is leavened with a bit of humor and a lot of hope, and so I do recommend it to all.
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
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
MiKayla McLamb
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-335
I chose this fantasy book because I could really see myself wanting to read this book as a child. I loved animals growing up and this book gave you the power to create your own pet bird. It was amazing! There were so many aspects to think about when choosing the parts of your bird. I highly enjoyed reading this book. I loved how it showed a back ground of the company and gave you instructions on how to assemble your bird. I think this book may be geared more towards 3rd grade readers; however, t ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Elizabeth A
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, art
Birds have been extinct since 2031, but fear not, Aviary Wonders Inc. can fulfill your aviary needs. This is their 32 page Spring Catalog, in which you can browse through bird parts - feathers, beaks, legs, etc - and make your very own custom bird. The catalog includes instructions for feeding and care of the new arrival, home assembly, teaching your bird to fly and sing, and an important trouble shooting guide. Sold? There is an order form at the end you can use to get one of your very own.

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
In 2031, most birds have disappeared. But never fear! You can order an assemble your own using this lushly illustrated, slightly disturbing catalog. The many facts about real and extinct birds are seamlessly woven in, though only older elementary and middle school kids will understand the environmental message here. Amazing artwork in the vein of Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time. ...more
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Birds are extinct, but don't despair. Since 2031, customers have been able to buy customized birds from Aviary Wonders, Inc. This is a strange book. Looking at birds without beaks in a "catalog" creeped me out and the "instructions" for assembling your new bird unsettled me. I think that's the point, though. I'm interested in what my students make of it.

The layout and design are well-done.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Absolutely gorgeous illustrations of bird parts with some creepy-ass instructions on how to assemble them. I was feeling gross for the rest of the day about us as humans. Is this how adults felt after reading The Lorax for the first time? ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Holly Mueller
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.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Laura Harrison
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, imaginative art work.
Cassandra Gelvin
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The main "wonder" is what kind of drugs the author/illustrator was taking.

This book is strange and slightly disturbing in parts. It's a cross between science fiction and heavy-handed conservationalism, and also like patterned art. It's very pretty. But it purports to be a catalog of bird parts. A lot of the description of the parts of the birds like bodies and such describe birds that are now extinct and when they went extinct and why they went extinct. The bodies and other parts, especially the
I _teach_muggles
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
With human activity the planet has rapidly been destroyed. Deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest has seen habitats disappear and species decline in number, some eradicated completely. To compensate the loss, Aviary Wonders Inc. have been making mechanical birds since 2031. The company offers bird lovers the chance to authentically recreate the beautiful birds that have become extinct as a result of the activities of humankind.

The premise of the company is simple. You scour the catalogue and
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Color saturated oil paintings and remarkably intricate graphite and colored pencil drawings illustrate "Aviary Wonders Inc." "Aviary Wonders Inc." is a magazine, an instruction manual for creating your own bird (using your imagination). Each page is filled with a catalogue of different bird parts. The final pages of the book are instructions for constructing your own custom bird.

"Aviary Wonders Inc." blurs the line between fantasy and nonfiction as it asks the reader to choose different beaks,
Pamela Hatch
SUMMARY: AVIARY WONDERS INC. is proud to offer you the unique opportunity to create your very own living, breathing bird from beautiful handcrafted parts. Everything you'll need -- bodies, breaks, winds, and legs, plus detailed assembly and care instructions -- is available through this catalog. Just turn the pages and you'll discover... ...the it's not really a catalog at all. It's a dark and funny look at what might happen if we let natural habitats disappear. (Bookjacket).

This has been on my
Tatiana Dengo
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
This is a strange little picture book, I’m not sure what to think, or who I’d recommend it to.

If I’m honest, I’m quite creeped out both by the premise of the total extinction of birds by 2031, and also by the illustrations depicting the assembly of the bird, as well as the troubleshooting/FAQs.

It all seems so cruel and heartbreaking.

Which is why I’m not sure how well this book would fare with children. The pictures are fun to look at, but how would they interpret the satirical nature of the t
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book. It was kind of trying to make a comment about extinction but I'm not sure that the connection between birds going extinct and being able to build your own was clear. Some of the pictures are slightly disturbing where the limbs and such are cut off. It was both too informational in some places and not informational enough in many others. One particularly confusing thing was the coloring of the different bird pieces without which were rarely the true ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I thought this book sounded really intriguing and at first it was. The illustrations are beautiful, but the more I looked at the book, the more it disturbed me. Choosing bird parts out of a catalog and then assembling them after they are shipped to you is a little creepy. The instructions for putting the bird together was the most disturbing part but maybe that’s the point. After all, the book is imagining a future when birds are almost totally extinct so maybe the authors purpose is to make peo ...more
Kate Matheis
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was fun! Readers are invited to create a fictional bird of their own. It shows beautiful pictures of different tails, wings, legs, crests, etc. Readers create a bird in their mind using suggestions from the book. It does not tell a story but discusses several bird elements and gives fictional instructions as to how to assemble your bird.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
1. Beautiful illustrations!
2. Makes me think of the dodos in Jasper Ffordes Thursday Next series.
3. Little facts about extinct birds.
4. Wouldn't be cool to create your own bird?
5. Makes me happy and sad.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very creative in how to put together a bird. It is very descriptive in the parts of many birds, so this book will be a great informative book.

DRA Level: 20
Lexile Measures: BR-620

Presentation, Word Choice, Conventions
Kris Springer
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking, funny, wacky book about extinction, global warming and consumerism. Worth a read.
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