Frances’ Rodgers’ book, Rory the Garden Bird, introduces young readers to the idea of backyard animals and what we can do to make their lives better. Rory, an appealing brown bird, needs a safe place with food and water for drinking and bathing. He suggests a bird bath, birdseed, suet balls, and flowers to attract the bugs and flies that he eats. To provide safety he suggests a tree where he can sit out of reach of household pets, elimination of trash that can hurt him, and clean feeders and bird bath so he does not get sick. The simple illustrations are colorful and warm, providing a friendly background for both Rory and his message. The six end pages, where photographs are used, identify Rory as a house sparrow, provide a description of the species, explain the need for protecting the species, and present a world map with pictures of a few typical garden birds in each major area.
Written for children ages 3-5, the main text consists of 1-2 sentences per page in a large font and may be appreciated by children beginning to read. The message of stewardship of nature is timely and could inspire children and parents to embark on projects to provide a suitable environment for birds in their own backyard or more. Rory the Garden Bird is part of the series “How can I Help?” along with Roly the Hedgehog, Roxy the Butterfly and Rosy the Bumblebee.
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