CALVIN CAN’T FLY: THE STORY OF A BOOKWORM BIRDIE ($14.95, Sterling Children’s Books, ages 4-8) written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Keith Bendes is reviewed today by Lindy Michaels, of BookStar on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.
Calvin is a little bird called a Starling. He has seven brothers and sisters and sixty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-two cousins. Wow! Starlings have big families. But Calvin wasn’t like his other family members. While they did Starling things all day long, like discovering worms and dirt and grass and bugs and ants, Calvin discovered books. And as he learned to read, he dreamt of adventure stories and legends, poetry and even of becoming a great writer, himself, one day.
But while he had his beak buried in a book, all the other Starlings were learning a very important skill… how to fly. While they all practiced swooping and hovering and flying figure eights, high in the sky, Calvin’s mind soared with all the knowledge flying into his brain.
And then, one day, it was time for the Starlings to fly South for the winter… everyone except Calvin, that is, since he had never learned to fly. What happens next is two-fold. One, how a family comes together to help one of their own, and two, how one little Starling’s knowledge, learned from reading books, would save his entire family.
This engaging and satisfying tale will delight little ones and reinforce how important, educational and fun the written word can be.
The very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.