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Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manualby Kate Samworth
Synopses & Reviews
Since 2031, Aviary Wonders Inc. has offered bird lovers a unique opportunity: Assemble your own bird from stunningly beautiful and carefully hand-crafted parts. The birds can even be taught to fly and to sing! This slyly satirical crafter's delight is offered as the perfect antidote to extinction of birds in the wild.
Brilliantly illustrated with oil paintings and filled with laugh-aloud asides as well as sobering facts about extinct species, this mock catalog is a clever send-up of contemporary sales spin and a thought-provoking look into an all-too-possible future.
"Unsettling and unforgettable, this faux-catalog purports to replace extinct bird species with build-a-bird automatons. Sub-subtitled 'Renewing the World's Bird Supply Since 2031,' the compendium opens with earnest words from its founder, who 'discovered a passion for bird watching while working for my family's logging company': 'We can't replace the birds that have been lost. But we can provide you with the opportunity to create an exquisite alternative.' Samworth, making her debut, marries conventional sales language to florid multimedia illustrations of disembodied bird parts 'handcrafted and made to order by world-class artisans.' Bird bodies (e.g., moa, swan, condor), sans beaks, wings, or feet, are presented as basic options. Shoppers choose from 'hardwood or porcelain' strap-on beaks, screw-on legs, durable silk wings, and optional 'embellishments' like the gaudy 'Rockette' crest or the ocean-blue 'Rachel Carson' wattles 'made from recycled rubber.' A closing section on assembly, with instructions for teaching the robotic birds to fly and sing, only deepens the uncanny sense of loss. This cautionary guidebook mimes ads that fetishize wildlife; Samworth's bracing irony will stimulate discussion among conservationists. Ages 9 — 12. Agent: Nancy Gallt, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
What can you do when all the birds are gone? Build your own! This comic environmental fable offers a businessman's dollars-and-sense solution to the drastic effects of deforestation.
About the Author
Kate Samworth studied (and taught) painting at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art and printmaking at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, where she took an illustration course withandnbsp;David Wiesner. She lives on a farm in Stanardsville,Virginia, teaches and paints at a studio in Charlottesville, and travels widely.She is an ardent spokesperson for environmental protection and preservation.
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