Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers


Children - Picture Book
52 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers: Book 2 is a children’s picture book written by Michael Dotsikas and illustrated by Morgan Spicer. After his first misadventure, as set out in Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight: Book 1, Benjamin both yearned to soar in the air with the other flying creatures and was frightened that he would fail once more. When his mom told him that he was now ready, that his wings were grown and strong, Benjamin couldn’t believe his ears. Was he really ready? Could he do this? He finally decided to try once more, and with a leap he realized that he was actually flying -- until he looked down at the ground so far below him. Panic made his wings stop working, and he began to plummet to the earth, but then he heard them. All of his tree-dwelling friends, the ones who had helped him before, and new ones as well; all were cheering him on, all encouraging him to flap his wings and fly. He could do this.

Michael Dotsikas’s children’s animal picture book, Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers: Book 2, continues the charming story of Benjamin, the fledgling who tried to fly too soon. This inspiring fable demonstrates most eloquently how important it is to strive for your dreams even if you encounter setbacks or failure along the way. This second book gives children additional animals to learn about, including tamarins, howler monkeys and bearcats, and thumbnail sketches of each new animal are included at the end of the book. The author also includes a glossary. Morgan Spicer’s illustrations are masterful and bring each of the tree dwellers to life. I can’t think of a better way to introduce children to some of the animals who share our planet than with the Benjamin Birdie Series. This upbeat, motivational story is most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

Benjamin Birdie’s first flight did not go as planned but he still continued to dream of his first real flight in the sky in the story Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers by Michael Dotsikas. Though he counted the days and weeks and kept staring at the valleys, broad brooks, and tall peaks, Benjamin Birdie was still not ready to fly. One day Mama Birdie told him that the day had come for him to fly as his wings had become strong. Suddenly Benjamin Birdie was flying, darting and dashing through the trees, soaring high with the sparrows, and flying low with the finches. The tree dwellers were impressed with Benjamin’s success and the story shows how he inspired them to do things which they once thought they could not do.

I like the way the author knitted a very relevant and important message through the story of Benjamin Birdie. Many a time, children hold back from doing things they want to do and like to do because they lack confidence and encouragement. Reading this book can change all that. Benjamin Birdie will show you how to get rid of your inhibitions and fear and soar to new heights, just like the jaguar, flying squirrel, snake, sloth, and the rest of the tree dwellers. The illustrations are wonderful and they give good pace and movement to the story. Stories like this will motivate children to strive hard and achieve the impossible. It is a good storybook for read aloud and storytelling sessions in classrooms and school libraries.

Michelle Stanley

“If at first, you don’t succeed, try again.” Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers is a children’s picture book by Michael Dotsikas. Benjamin Birdie yearns to fly like the other birds and was sad when his first attempt failed. At least the other animals didn’t laugh when he almost fell to the ground. Mama Birdie said he was too young, so Benjamin waited impatiently to grow stronger. The day finally arrived. Benjamin was so nervous but managed to flap his wings and lift off. He almost fell again until he heard his friends cheering. That made the little bird feel confident and he started flying. The animals were inspired by Benjamin’s perseverance. Elephant attempted flying, the gibbons styled animals’ hair, giraffe painted, while porcupine wanted to become a nurse. Everyone felt happy and confident about trying new things.

Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers is a lovely picture book for young readers. It’s an encouraging story that lets children know that they should always work at solving their problems, and believe they can make their dreams become realities. Having the support of friends is very important too. The author’s picture book is a wonderful teaching aid to boost a child’s confidence. He has included some animals I’m unfamiliar with, like the couscous and kinkajou, in a humorous, rhyming theme. The artwork is fantastic. This is the sequel to Benjamin’s Birdie’s First Flight by Michael Dotsikas. Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers will make story time a fun, learning experience for small children.