Squawky: The Little Blue Jay
by Melissa A. Jones
Trafford Publishing

"...if we all work together and love one another, we can all learn to understand one another..."

One spring morning, Sally and her father chance upon a pair of blue jays building a nest on a tree in their yard. Overjoyed to have new feathered friends, Sally tries to talk to them but cannot understand their language. When the eggs hatch, Sally grows quite fond of the baby birds. She names the noisiest one “Squawky.” When an unfortunate accident endangers Squawky’s life, Sally and her father rescue him and nurse him back to health. Sally’s father returns Squawky to his parents, who thank him profusely for saving their baby.
Jones delivers a beautiful story about friendship and innocence. Through Sally’s love for the blue jay family and her efforts to repeatedly communicate with them, Jones brings out the spontaneous sensitivity of children who love and respect animals. Though fear is depicted through Squawky’s mother, who warns him against people, Sally’s kind, helpful attitudes gradually redeem their trust in humans. Sally’s motivation to help others comes from her father, whose guidance subtly nurtures her gentle, sympathetic nature. The importance of saving a life and the beauty of an unusual friendship are highlighted through Sally’s experiences with the wounded Squawky. It is heartwarming when Squawky goes back to his parents, and Sally’s father suddenly understands bird language as the mother bird thanks him. Easy language and childlike tone make this book perfect for children. The delightful illustrations of Earlene Gayle Escalona add to the feel-good flavor of the story, inviting readers into the colorful, safe world of childhood. This is an adorable story with a big heart.

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