Book Review: Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds and Matt Davies

Nerdy Birdy is a picturebook written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies. Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. The cool birds are the eagle, robin, cardinal, and so on. The good looking and athletic birds, and Nerdy Birdy just does not fit in. When he's at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky. However, there is still another lesson to be learned.

Nerdy Birdy is a great book about being yourself, finding your own tribe, and not excluding those that do not have the same interests as yourself. So many children and adults start off like Nerdy Birdy, trying to fit in with the "cool kids'. However, once they find people that share their interests but are not necessarily 'cool' they have much more fun and realize there are many more of us that do not fit in with the cool crowd than do. I like that Reynolds did not leave it there, which most authors seem to do with feel goo stories about misfits finding friends, they took it one step further and show the tribe of nerd birds treating a bird that was not a cool bird, but not like them either, as badly as they had been treated. Nerdy Birdy does the right thing, and forges a fantastic friendship. The book just made me happy on several levels.

Nerdy Birdy is a fabulous book for storytimes, both at home and in class or library settings. It is a good mirror to some of the adult conflicts going on now, where outcasts find their tribe and then treat those that do not match their image of friends horribly. It happens too much, and maybe if children and adults alike were a little more like Nerdy Birdy we would all be happier. 

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