Author: Mya Thompson
Illustrator: Claudia Dávila
Target: Ages 3–7
Format: Children’s Picture Book / Hard Cover
Dimensions: 11″ x 9″
Meet Ruby, a plucky young girl who uncovers the wild side of her city neighborhood with the help of a grown-up friend. When Ruby realizes there are amazing birds right in her neighborhood, her imagination takes flight. Birders have a name for the moment they get hooked—they call it their spark moment. This is the story of Ruby’s spark moment in her very own words.
This delightful story includes a seek and find element with birds hiding on nearly every page. Information about where to find all of the birds in real life follows, plus Ruby’s tips for taking a nature walk, and how to connect with Celebrate Urban Birds, a citizen-science project at the Cornell Lab.
Mya Thompson has a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from Cornell University and currently works at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where she is the creator of Bird Academy and the author of games including BeastBox and Flap to the Future. Mya lives with her husband and two children in Ithaca, NY, where she enjoys taking walks with her kids leading the way.
About the Illustrator
Claudia Dávila writes, illustrates, and designs books for kids of all ages. She is the author-illustrator of the picture book Super Red Riding Hood and a graphic novel series, The Future According to Luz. Born in Santiago, Chile, Claudia now makes her home in Toronto with her husband and their two kids. They spend many evenings together drawing, sketching, and making up funny characters and super silly stories.
“A young girl learns how to bird-watch from her neighbor, then teaches her family. Ruby, a black girl with afro puffs and a missing front tooth, likes to spice things up when it’s “too quiet” at home. When her neighbor, Eva, hears Ruby making noise, she invites Ruby to the park―Central Park. When they get to the woods there, Eva is quiet, looking up, using binoculars, frozen―but smiling. Ruby starts singing again, and a frustrated Eva sits her down to tell her about the golden-winged warbler she was looking at, a bird she’d only seen back home in Costa Rica. They try to find him again, staying quiet and paying attention. On Sunday, Ruby begs her family to go to Central Park during their regular family time. She leads them into the woods and shows them how to watch, quiet and still. Her efforts are rewarded when she sees a warbler. Dávila’s illustrations, done with the abundant green and brown of nature and splashes of colorful clothing against ample white space, depict caring relationships and communities. With a bird on each spread and a key in the back, it serves as a Where’s Waldo-type introduction to birding guides, one readers can return to again and again. A bird poster and an endnote addressed to children round out the package. A good story, perfect for bird lovers and likely to entice the uninitiated.” (Picture book. 3-7)
– Kirkus Reviews