My Beautiful Birds book cover

My Beautiful Birds

A moving story about one boy’s refugee experience in the Syrian Civil War and the birds who help him on the road to emotional healing. Behind Sami, the Syrian skyline is full of smoke. The boy follows his family and all his neighbours in a long line, as they trudge through the sands and hills to escape the bombs that have destroyed their homes. But all Sami can think of is his pet pigeons—will they escape too? When they reach a refugee camp and are safe at last, everyone settles into the tent city. But though the children start to play and go to school again, Sami can’t join in. When he is given paper and paint, all he can do is smear his painting with black. He can’t forget his birds and what his family has left behind. One day a canary, a dove, and a rose finch fly into the camp. They flutter around Sami and settle on his outstretched arms. For Sami it is one step in a long healing process at last.

Ideal for:
International Day of Peace Sept. 21, Human Rights Day Dec. 10, International Migrants Day December 18, International Day of Education Jan. 24, International Women's Day and United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace March 8, World Refugee Day June 20, Canadian Multiculturalism Day June 27.

Order now for September Delivery.

My Beautiful Birds. Text © 2017 Suzanne Del Rizzo Illustrations © 2017 Suzanne Del Rizzo. Reproduced by permission of Pajama Press, Toronto.

Based on a real refugee child who keeps birds, this story isn’t about war but its effect on those who experience it and survive. This story of one frightened little boy who finds strength in caring for animals and uses that strength to comfort other kids is an excellent means of explaining a difficult subject to young children.

Kirkus Reviews

Book Creators

Suzanne Del Rizzo

Suzanne Del Rizzo portrait

Suzanne Del Rizzo has always loved getting her hands messy. She traded her job in scientific research for a career in children’s books, creating dimensional illustrations with polymer clay, acrylic paint, and other media. Suzanne’s 2017 picture book My Beautiful Birds was a New York Times Notable Children’s Books selection, a Junior Library Guild selection, and the 2017 One Book, One San Diego for Kids selection. It also won the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature and was an honorable mention for the Middle-East Book Award. Suzanne lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family.