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Brandie Grasso
Birds Dislike This and Dislike That
Our feathered friends up in the sky see everything from their bird's eye. From climate change to deadly litter. This all effects the flying critter. Polluted waters and toxic waste, plastic seas and forests erased. Shrinking wildlands and habitat, that's why Birds Dislike This and Dislike That!
In a short but direct picture book, Grasso (The Royal Pelican Trilogy) reveals the devastating effects of pollution on wildlife, specifically birds in various habitats, and encourages people to clean up rivers and beaches so wildlife can thrive. Rhyming text and pictures on alternating pages show how unleashed dogs and feral cats affect pigeons in cities, plastic soda rings can strangle penguins in the ocean, scattered old tires and refrigerators litter the beach for seagulls, noise pollution from a lawnmower hurts nesting birds in the suburbs, trash and drought in rivers strand a mother duck and her ducklings, and logging destroys birds’ forest habitat. Then the text suggests we “Keep their world clean. Know what I mean?” to help birds like snowy owls and their owlets thrive.

Grasso’s vital message of the dangers and destructiveness of trash, toxic waste, deforestation, and even noise pollution on wildlife is gentle but urgent for young readers. The cute, cartoon illustrations by Tuğçe Cinardarli in full-page panels show vibrant and expressive birds and their friends, such as a frog, deer, and crab, in distress when encountering humanity’s impact on the land and waterways. The vastness of the problem of pollution is depicted in the variety of flying and aquatic birds in residential areas, ocean front, forest, and rivers.

At times the poetry can be strained—“In their homes our junk does clash” reads one line—but it’s also often refreshingly pointed. “Every loud noise kills their poise,” Grasso writes, the words accompanying a touching illustration of a bird in a nest shielding its chicks from the roar of a lawnmower. Grasso rhymes that with a potent warning: “They stop the songs our world enjoys.” The message of conservation is clear and impassioned, and young readers will be drawn to the cute birds, bold color palette , and the easy-to-read words and rhymes.

Takeaway: An introduction to pollution’s effects on birds, with easy-to-read text and cute illustrations.

Great for fans of: Deborah Diesen’s The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans up the Oceans, Erica Fyvie’s Trash Revolution.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A