Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight is a beautiful book about a little bird name Benjamin who disregards his mother advise and gets himself into trouble. Does that sound familiar? I know it does in our home.
Benjamin dreams of soaring in the sky, but his mother tells him he’s not ready yet. Problem is Benjamin does not believe her. He thinks he can do it. So he waits until Mother Bird goes off to get lunch, and he takes matters into his own hands.
At first Benjamin feels confident as he is able to fly for a few moments. But soon he learns that his mother was right, and his wings are not strong enough. He tumbles down the tall tree and lands up on the ground shaken up. Now Benjamin has a new problem, since he can’t fly yet, how will he get back to his nest?
As many of my current readers know I love to read with my children. So when I was given the chance to receive some new books for honest option, I was more the excited! When these books arrived, my family and I immediately feel in love with them before even reading a single word. The Illustrations by Morgan Spicer are stunning.
While reading a Q&A with the author, Michael Dotsikas, my heart melted when I read where he got the inspiration for this story. He says:
“When my children were very young, we found a small robin’s nest in one of the trees in our backyard and noticed that one of the hatchlings had fallen out of its nest and was laying on the ground helpless. As I placed the hatchling back in its nest, my children asked what would have happened to the little bird if we weren’t around and how would it have gotten back to its nest. From that came the inspiration for Benjamin Birdie’s story.”
From a homeschooling mom perspective, I especially loved this book for a few reasons.
- The vocabulary used in this book was amazing. Many children’s books use oversimplification or “dumbed down” language. Your not going to find that in “Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight.”
- This book can branch off into a science lesson. First talked about the life cycle of a bird, and when they are really ready to leave the nest. Then we dug a little deeper and learned more about all the protected, threatened and endangered species mentioned in the book.
- One other thing I really loved was the way they talked about feelings. Benjamin experienced so many emotions in this book. He was anxious, dismayed, and courageous. He experiences glee, desperation, and despair. This is a great tool to talk to your children about different emotions. Giving an emotion a name and an example is a perfect way to help your child work through emotions later on.
Overall though the main take away from this story, that applies to all children, not just homeschooled ones is kindness and asking for help when you need it. Sometimes our children make mistakes, and that is part of growing up. But how we handle these mistakes after they are made is the important part.
Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight has earned a permanent place on our bookshelf. I can see out family reaching for this book to help hammer home character lessons. Kindness, determination, perseverance, being a good friend, and being honest with ourselves and others.
Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight has received several awards, including the:
- Mom’s Choice Award : Gold Award Recipient
- Moonbeam Children’s Award: 2016 Award Recipient: Silver under the Animals and Pet Catagory
- Readers’ Favorite: 2016 Illustration Award
What Does the Author Want Children to Get From Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight
In a Q&A when asked what he would like children to remember from Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight, Michael said:
I want children (and adults) to remember that when we’re kind to one another we can accomplish great things that will fulfill and enrich our lives. Being humble and kind is the best way to live our lives and have the greatest impact on humanity.
What I can honestly say is this is exactly what we got from this beautiful story. I’m so excited to dive into the second book in this series with my son.
Thank you Michael for sharing your story with us!
Stay tuned for our upcoming review on he second book in the series, “Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers”.