Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Windows with Birds

Ritz, Karen. 2010. WINDOWS WITH BIRDS. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press. ISBN 9781590786567 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]

In this delightful and bittersweet picture book, a brown tabby cat tells all about his beautiful house that had windows with birds and twenty-nine hiding places. Unexpectedly, the cat is moved to a high-rise apartment where he shrinks and hides from the unfamiliar surroundings, showing his displeasure by yowling at night. Slowly, with some coaxing from a young boy, the cat finds familiarity in new windows with birds and new places to hide, and he warms to his new surroundings.

In plain language, and without anthropomorphizing the cat, Ritz takes the reader through the fright, loneliness and trepidation of moving to a new place. Realistic watercolor illustrations show the environment from the cat’s quirky perspective and imbue the cat a personality that makes him immediately recognizable. Children will relate to this story about change and the cat’s reluctant adjustment to his new surroundings. Ritz has created a clear but understated story about dealing with change, made easier by finding continuity in the things and people that remain.

Invite children in storytime to think about a change in their lives and how it made them feel. Older readers can create their own stories about “change” moments and imagine it from the perspective of an animal.

Other recent picture books about dealing with change:
Becker, Bonny. A VISITOR FOR BEAR. ISBN 9780763628079
Willems, Mo. CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG. ISBN 9781423103004
Woodson, Jacqueline. PECAN PIE BABY. ISBN 9780399239878

By Cecily Ponce de Leon

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