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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Benjamin Birdie's First Flight is a children's picture book written by Michael Dotsikas and illustrated by Morgan Spicer. Benjamin Birdie lives high in a tree with his mother. He's been watching all the birds soaring and flying in the sky around him, and he wants to start flying as well. His mother tells him that he's not ready yet, but he will soon be. When she goes off to find food for him, however, Benjamin decides to try out his wings. At first, he's doing pretty well. He flaps harder and harder and then he's flying. At least for a while, then Benjamin falls all the way down to the ground far below. He has no idea how to get back to his nest until he sees a friendly elephant who thinks he can help. When the elephant gets Benjamin as high as he can reach, the next friendly animal steps up to the task of returning the young bird to his nest.
Michael Dotsikas' children's animal picture book, Benjamin Birdie's First Flight, is a playful and entertaining book that teaches as it entertains. The author's story is set in rhyme that's natural and never forced or singsong, and the vocabulary selection is geared toward beginning readers. Morgan Spicer's illustrations are marvelous! Each panel is brightly colored and carefully inked, and the animals' faces are expressive and lively. Benjamin's rescue story also introduces a wide variety of animals. The Meet the Tree Dwellers section and Glossary are excellent resources for both young readers and adults who are sharing the book with younger children. Benjamin Birdie's First Flight is a most impressive children's book, and it's most highly recommended.