Saturday, April 9, 2011

Storybook Sunday : The Birdman by Melvin Burgess

Stay tuned for a bird related kids craft after the review!
With spring in full swing (for most of us) I have had birds on my mind for some time. Feeders and houses and such. So when I had an idea to do some related crafts I thought it fitting to share with you a book we recently discovered. It is called The Birdman and is illustrated by Ruth Brown and written by Melvin Burgess

Regardless of the controversy that surrounds the author`s more current works, this book I found to be wonderful. A little dark maybe, but that seems to be how we like our fairy tales around here.

The story begins with some beautiful carnival-esque imagery that I couldn't help but be taken with. (I love that sort of thing; Cirque De Soleil, Mirrormask etc.) Then slowly you are taken into a wonderful story that has a hint of mystery. A boy meets a man who sells what appear to be wild birds. At first the boy is apalled at the thought of it and uses his only coin to purchase one with the best intentions of setting it free. But we all know where good intentions get us! I won't tell you any more because this is a short story with a twist, a beautifully illustrated tale about karma.

But we can make a little bit of good karma of our own, we are going to help some wild birds pimp out their nests. Without giving any strange men our last coins. In fact, this shouldn't cost you a single penny. We are going to help the birds build their nests this spring! To do so you will only need a few things from your craft cupboards (I know you all have said cupboard with these supplies!)
I used onion and apple mesh bags I had been saving, some scrap yarns (The green stuff had been pre-cut to 4: lengths for a project but I changed my mind at the last minute), jute twine, some hot pink synthetic twine for colour and wool.

I say this for two reasons, for super little ones (like mine) this is tricky and best done by an adult in advance. Also, trying to fill the mesh bag strand by strand is super tesious as they catch on the holes.
We used a mixture of synthetic and natural fibres. The natural fibres separate really nicely into super fine strands, the synthetic didn't like to be pulled too small but I couldn't help add a bit of colour to the mix.

 Please ignore the carcass like appearance!
The Mister fashioned this bird feeder out of an old satellite dish today. We haven't quite worked out a cover yet but when the tree leafs up nicely it shouldn't much matter. Like it? The birds do! Took them about ten minutes to scope it out the smorgasbord!

Now your backyard birds will have the hottest nests out there! I hope you enjoyed the how to and I hope you skip on down to your local library and check out a copy of The Birdman, I promise you will love the twist at the end!
I think we'll do at least one more kid friendly bird craft before the week is out, what with Earth Day coming up and all!