Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf

Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf

Oilivia Bouler
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 9 to 12
Sterling, 2011   ISBN: 978-1402786655

The world is full of ecosystems that are threatened, animal and plant species that are endangered, and other environmental problems. Many of us would like to make a difference, but not that many of us make a significant effort to do something that is meaningful. Eleven-year-old Olivia Bouler is the kind of person who believes that action is needed. When she heard about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which began in April of 2010, she wrote a letter to the Audubon Society offering to sell some of her own bird drawings to raise money for the clean up effort. The people at Audubon were happy to accept her help, and in the end donors who gave money to Audubon’s Gulf clean-up campaign received one of Olivia’s bird pictures as a thank you gift. In just the first month of her involvement, Olivia got five hundred requests for her bird paintings.

In this book, Olivia tells the story about how she came to be a part of the huge effort to clean up the Gulf, and she also tells us about a variety of different birds. There are those that you might see in your back yard or in the park, like the Blue Jay or the Cardinal, and then there are birds that are rarely seen because they are endangered. Using an informative text and her own paintings, Olivia also tells us about birds in flight, birds that live in woods, water birds, “Weird and Wacky” birds, birds of prey, and birds that are exceptionally beautiful, like the painted bunting.

Olivia concludes by reminding us that all of us have the ability to do something to “fix Earth.” After all “We only have one chance to do it.” With simple words Olivia’s call to action reminds us that every single one of us has the ability to make the world a greener, cleaner, happier place.