The colors in Jenn Larson’s (Amazon affiliate link) Songbird are gorgeous. Polona Lovsin has done a fabulous job with the illustrations.

Sydney Sparrow, along with her family in their nest in Central Park, are treated to a performance by the Philharmonic Orchestra. Sydney falls in love with the music and dreams of becoming a conductor. She watches the orchestra practice, learning the music and conducting along. When the conductor’s sheet music blows away during a concert, she swoops in to save the day. This book is about following your dreams.

While the story is cute, I really struggled with how the sparrows were humanized in some ways while not in others. Sydney is told her only options when she grows up are to do things like gather food, build nests, or hatch eggs. Her teacher tells her that she will be a good egg layer like her mother. While on one hand the birds live in a nest and prepare their children to do bird-like activities as adults, on the other, they send the kids to school in a classroom setting. For me and my young listeners, this took away from the story.

Disclaimer: A copy was provided by the National Center for Youth Issues.

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