Saturday, 11 May 2013

TWO NESTS, by Laurence Anholt and Jim Coplestone - reviewed by Saviour Pirotta

Title: TWO NESTS
Author: Laurence Anholt
Illustrator Jim Coplestone
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Pub date: 7 March 2013
ISBN:

Family separation is always a traumatic issue for kids and we can never have enough books that deal with the subject in a sensitive and positive way.

Laurence Arnholt's latest collaboration with illustrator Jim Coplestone is one of the best, and funniest, I have seen dealing with this subject. Told in bouncy, fast-flowing rhyme, it's the story of Betty and Paul, two birds who fall in love and build a nest together in a cherry tree.   Betty lays an egg and they have a baby. The happy occasion leads to a respectful status in the local animal community as well as a delightful social life with lots of creatures from the surrounding countryside coming to visit.  But the nest proves too small for all three birds and before long they start squabbling.  Paul decides to move out and set up home on another branch of the cherry tree.

This turn of events leaves all three members of the family sad, especially Baby Bird who misses his/her dad [the baby's gender is never revealed]. Betty assures him/her that both parents still love their little baby very much and - before long - Baby Bird has sprouted wings and discovered the advantages of having two homes to share.

This book not only deals with an important issue in an understanding and perceptive way, it's also a jolly good read. The gentle illustrations, suffused with light blues and pinks, give it a cosy, whimsical look.  The toddler I tired it out on was shouting 'again' before we'd come to the last spread and I'm sure lots of other kids will be doing the same everywhere this book is read.

Saviour Pirotta
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