My current project at work is to scam each picture book and check the cataloging. There was a time when the books were not entered correctly, making it hard to do searches. I did not expect to find any books that were not in the system at all, but I found one and it’s a gem!

Birdsong by Gail E. Haley, has a copyright from 1984. I had to catalog it by from scratch, and when I opened it, the illustrations had me hooked.

Jorinella is an old woman who sells birds in the marketplace, but she is not doing well. One day she discovers a nameless orphan girl who can charm the birds with her pipe playing. She adopts the girl and names her Birdsong. She gives Birdsong a magic feather that allows her to understand the songs of the birds, but then tricks Birdsong into helping her capture them. Birdsong is kind, though, and finds a way to free the birds. In return the birds take her to a secret kingdom where birds can safely go to sing and be heard.

I just loved this story! It has all the trappings of s great fairytale while still being very unique. I’m so glad I found it.

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