Pablo & Birdy

Pablo & Birdy

Book - 2017
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A boy who drifted into the seaside town of Isla as a baby searches for answers about where he and his parrot came from in this charmer of a tale laced with magical realism from New York Times bestselling author Alison McGhee.

The seaside town of Isla has many stories, the most notable being the legend of the Seafaring Parrot. Locals claim that the Seafarer remembers every sound, every whisper, cry, laugh, or snort ever uttered. But, though there have been rumored Seafarer sightings , no one has actually seen the bird before. Other stories surround a boy named Pablo, who had washed up on shore in a blow-up swimming pool as an infant with only a lavender parrot as a companion. Now, on the eve of his tenth birthday, the stories are repeated.

"At first I thought it was a huge fish," Emmanuel, the man who found and took Pablo in, says. Pierre, the baker's guess was a good one: Perhaps Pablo has come from an undiscovered country, one unknown to the rest of the world. Maybe the inhabitants there lived in tree houses, or underground. Or maybe he's a pirate baby. But Pablo wants the truth, and the only one who might know it is Birdy, his parrot. After all, she was there, holding onto the raft. But unlike most birds who live in Isla, Birdy can neither talk or fly. Or, at least, she never has. day, when strong winds begin to blow--winds similar to the ones that brought Pablo to shore--Birdy begins to mutter. Could Birdy be a Seafaring parrot? If she is, then she will be able to tell Pablo the true story of where he came from--of who tied him so lovingly and safely to that raft? But, if she is, that also means the second part of the Seafarer myth is true...that Seafaring Parrots will, eventually, fly away.

As Pablo is buzzing with questions, hopes, and fears, an old saying echoes in his mind: winds of change mean fortune lost or fortune gained. And while the winds rise in Isla, Pablo holds tight to Birdy. Would losing his companion, his dearest link to his past, be that loss?
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781481470261
Characteristics: 288 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Juan, Ana - Illustrator
Alternative Title: Pablo and Birdy


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JCLChrisK Apr 21, 2018

Sometimes the search for identity depends upon a willingness to change.

Pablo already feels change coming as he approaches his tenth not-birthday--the tenth anniversary of his washing to shore as a baby in an improvised raft, watched over by an unusual parrot. His adopted father and the community of adults that stand in as his family aren't changing, he is. He hasn't told anyone yet except Birdy, who never leaves his side, but Pablo is no longer satisfied with the way things have always been. He wants to know more about who he is and where he comes from. That dissatisfaction will lead him in directions he never expected.

McGhee's invented island community and story feature birds prominently. They are pivotal characters, sources of humor, and part of the book's slight magical realism. So too with the faintly cartoonish human characters. This is a more introspective tale than many, quietly--though satisfyingly--enchanting and fun.

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