A vain blue budgie flies the coop only to find that there's no place like home
Barnaby is a blue budgie who’s got it all: a golden cage, bells to jingle-jangle, and an owner who gives him all the snacks and attention he wants. Until his owner brings home a “friend” for Barnaby: a little yellow canary.
Barnaby is not happy. When his tantrums don’t convince his owner to get rid of the canary, Barnaby flies away and ends up hopelessly lost. While stopping for a rest, he encounters a flock of wild sparrows. At first, he looks down his beak at the drab, brown birds. But, growing hungrier and thirstier, he realizes he has a lot to learn from them.
Soon Barnaby is a part of their flock, scavenging for seeds and riding on the wind. But Barnaby can’t forget his former home, and every night he searches for his owner’s house using tricks the sparrows taught him. Finally, he finds it, and Barnaby returns home a changed bird. With subtle messages about sibling rivalry and jealousy, readers will enjoy Barnaby’s antics and the sweet conclusion to this story.
"A thoughtful, beautifully rich story ... Barnaby reads like a modern fable, so vibrantly captured and presented by the winning combination of Curtis’s detailed storytelling and Reich’s captivating illustrations."
"The softened scenes in a rich palette show what Barnaby is feeling and seeing as he experiences his world growing. One budgie’s emotional growth after leaving home will ring familiar to young children."
"Curtis’ thoughtful, clever story is told via gentle observations and gorgeous descriptions, with Reich’s warm gouache and colored-pencil illustrations beautifully capturing the cozy scenes and entertaining avian personalities. Though it will resonate especially with children dealing with a similar sibling addition, this will charm any young reader."
"[Curtis uses] poetic figures of speech ... Reich’s gouache paintings with colored pencil are honey-toned and golden ... Full of feeling."
"Curtis pens a story filled with emotion. Readers will feel all that Barnaby feels ... This book makes for an enjoyable readaloud, and a sure conversation starter."
"Curtis works endearing bird behavior into the text lightly ... Reich’s gouache illustrations capture Barnaby perfectly."