________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 37 . . . . June 2, 2017


Stop Feedin' da Boids!

James Sage. Illustrated by Pierre Pratt.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77138-613-5.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Jill Griffith.

*** /4



When Swanda first moved to the city,
she missed the wildlife she had
left behind….
…but not for long.

Moving to Brooklyn from the country had its drawbacks for Swanda and her delightful golden retriever, Waldo. They missed the wildlife they left behind. Swanda, not one to sit and let grass grow under her feet, set out to remedy the paucity of wildlife by feeding the "dear little birds" she found outside of her apartment window. Her neighbours, however, aren't so inclined to have pigeons everywhere, and so Swanda, after consulting with experts, stopped "feedin' da boids." Much to Waldo's chagrin, however, Swanda's wildlife project didn't end at pigeons.

      James Sage's text is perfect for reading aloud. In fact, to be appreciated, it must be read aloud, preferably by one who can perform it with a perfect Brooklyn accent and isn't afraid to be loud and expressive. Hilarity will ensue.

      As Mary Poppins would extol, this book is practically perfect in every way, except for the print, and the ending. Story and illustration share equal importance in this book, yet the print is tiny in most spots. Where emphasis is required, particularly when reading aloud, the font grows larger, but, for the most part, it's just too small. I also think that the ending needs some clarification. There is a bit of a disconnect between the text and the illustration, and the reader needs to take note of the punctuation, specifically the question mark, for the last pages to make sense. The reader isn't immediately aware that what is happening at the ending is still in Swanda's over-active imagination and not yet a reality.

      I have been a fan of Montreal illustrator Pierre Pratt for a long time, and he does not disappoint as he perfectly captures the frenzy of a Brooklyn neighbourhood. Pratt has always understood the urban setting. His characters are quirky and fun, and the double-page spread of pigeon heads and pigeon eyes is equal part hilarious and terrifying as the pigeons seem to converge on the reader. The pigeon endpapers are also pretty spectacular.

      All in all, Stop Feedin' Da Boids is a real hoot and will become a favourite of mischievous children who relate to Swanda and her big ideas.


Jill Griffith is the Youth Services Manager at Red Deer Public Library in Red Deer, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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