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Helen’s Birds

For as long as Saanvi can remember, she has been friends with her elderly neighbor Helen. They play cards and garden together and, especially, care for the wild birds that visit Helen’s yard. When Helen dies suddenly, a “For Sale” sign goes up, and movers arrive, emptying the house of its furniture and stripping the yard of its birdfeeders. The sparrows and hummingbirds disappear.

Soon a bulldozer tears down Helen’s house. All winter, Saanvi walks numbly past the property as developers begin to build condos. Then one spring day, amid the dust and turmoil of construction, she finds a weathered playing card wedged between two rocks. She holds it to her chest, and finally sobs.

After a tearful night, Saanvi wakes inspired. She slathers peanut butter on pinecones to hang from tree branches, hammers together a birdhouse from scrap wood and drags a kitchen stool outside to hold a bowl of water. Finally, she retrieves a nest that has been unraveling on Helen’s old property and places it in a tree in her own yard. Saanvi’s yard soon fills with Helen’s birds. They have a home again. This beautifully illustrated, wordless graphic novel shows Saanvi’s journey through close friendship, then hollowing loss and change, until she finally finds hope.

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Description

"Facing grief seems to empower the child to move forward and carry on Helen’s legacy, tenderly rescuing a bird’s nest from a bush on Helen’s old property. Soon, the neighborhood is bursting with bird song once more.... A moving testimony to the process of navigating abrupt, painful change — and the life-altering impact of true friendship." — Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Recommended Age 6 - 8
Author Sara Cassidy
Illustrator Sophie Casson
ISBN 1773060384
Publisher Groundwood Books
Language English