cover image Two Nests

Two Nests

Laurence Anholt, illus. by Jim Coplestone. Frances Lincoln/Otter-Barry (PGW, dist.), $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84780-323-8

The team behind 2006’s Seven for a Secret, which addressed the death of a family member, uses a family of birds to illustrate the idea of divorce. Writing in chirpy, nursery rhyme–like verse that tailors this story to a young audience, Anholt paints a full picture of the birds’ lives, from the adult birds’ courtship to the building of their nest and the birth of their child: “They waited a month,/ they waited a week,/ then the egg went crack!/ And the egg went creak!” Soon, however, Paul and Betty start squabbling, and Paul moves into another nest on the opposite side of the tree (“Paul felt bad,/ Betty felt sad,/ and Baby Bird said,/ ‘I want my dad’ ”). Both parents reassure Baby Bird that it is loved, and “At last that baby/ found what’s best,/ flying back and forth,/ from nest to nest.” Working in lively ink and watercolor, Coplestone makes some conventional choices (Betty is pink, Paul is blue), though Baby’s Bird’s pink and blue plumage is a visual reminder of the child’s connection to both parents, whose love is never in doubt. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)