A DREAM OF BIRDS, by Shenaz Patel (Author), Emmanuelle Tchoukriel (Illustrator), Edwige-Renée Dro (Translator), Amazon Crossing Kids, Aug. 16, 2022, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 5-8)
A Dream of Birds, written by Shenaz Patel and illustrated by Emmanuelle Tchoukriel, celebrates a girl’s infatuation with birds.
Sara has a thing for birds. They remind her of her grandfather, who loved birds, and the wonderful show the creatures would put on in his yard each day ― like a cloud of colorful flowers carried by the wind.
As Sara walks to school in her island town, she longs for the freedom of those birds. Then she spots a new birdhouse full of parakeets in someone’s yard. Sara feels drawn to them and unable to forget them. So, what happens the next time, when she finds the door to the birdhouse unlocked? —Synopsis provided by Amazon Crossing Kids
Set on the African island of Mauritius, A Dream of Birds, is a book about nature and wanting the best for it.
Translated from French, A Dream of Birds, is best read aloud. This helps with flow and lessens some of the language formality. Reading aloud also brings a feel of dreamy otherness.
What will draw young readers are Emmanuelle Tchoukriel’s lovely illustrations. Her stylized approach offers detailed realism while allowing for room to imagine.
The ending of A Dream of Birds does feel a bit abrupt, but it leaves room for further exploration. It’s a tender little book that will appeal to bird lovers and would work well in a classroom setting.
About the creators:
Shenaz Patel was born and lives on Mauritius Island. She has several jobs: journalist, playwright, novelist, and translator, and she is also a comics and children’s book author. She has written nine books for children, including A Dream of Birds, which was first published in French and English in Mauritius and France. She was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2013, a high honor given by the French minister of culture.
Emmanuelle Tchoukriel was born and lives in France. Passionate about nature, she studied visual communication before entering the Estienne School in Paris. She specialized in scientific drawing, and she excels in illustrating flora and fauna. Visit her on Instagram @emanuelle_tchoukriel.
Edwige-Renée Dro is a writer, translator, and literary activist from the Ivory Coast, in Africa. Her writings have been published in anthologies such as New Daughters of Africa and Africa39, among others. She has judged many literary prizes, including the PEN International New Voices Award and the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She was awarded the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2018 and is a 2021 resident of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Learn more at edwigedro.wordpress.com on Twitter: @DroEdwige, and Facebook: Renée Edwige Dro.
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