Reviews for Two Nests

Booklist Reviews 2014 January #1
Two birds meet in the cherry tree, build a nest, and have a baby. Then mama sings, "I love you." But the nest is small, and soon the parent birds cannot get along. Daddy bird builds another nest on the other side of the cherry tree and soon they sing, "we both love you." Once baby bird grows, she flies back and forth to both nests. This is a book about divorce in the most basic terms. It does not address why parents get divorced or other consequences, but rather focuses on the fact that both parents still love the child. The text is written in a comforting, well-metered rhyme, and the cheerful illustrations further reinforce the message that divorce does not have to be ugly and painful. Few books address this type of separation so simply and without being heavy-handed. Parents going through divorce with very young children will appreciate having this on hand. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 November #3

The team behind 2006's Seven for a Secret, which addressed the death of a family member, uses a family of birds to illustrate the idea of divorce. Writing in chirpy, nursery rhyme-like verse that tailors this story to a young audience, Anholt paints a full picture of the birds' lives, from the adult birds' courtship to the building of their nest and the birth of their child: "They waited a month,/ they waited a week,/ then the egg went crack!/ And the egg went creak!" Soon, however, Paul and Betty start squabbling, and Paul moves into another nest on the opposite side of the tree ("Paul felt bad,/ Betty felt sad,/ and Baby Bird said,/ ‘I want my dad' "). Both parents reassure Baby Bird that it is loved, and "At last that baby/ found what's best,/ flying back and forth,/ from nest to nest." Working in lively ink and watercolor, Coplestone makes some conventional choices (Betty is pink, Paul is blue), though Baby's Bird's pink and blue plumage is a visual reminder of the child's connection to both parents, whose love is never in doubt. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2014 February

PreS-Gr 2--Betty and Paul meet at the top of a cherry tree in the fall. These two funny birds build a nest to stay cozy throughout the cold winter, and by the time the cherry blossoms arrive, so does a little egg. Adorable Baby Bird is soon born, and life seems happy enough. But then the laundry and dirty dishes pile up, and Paul and Betty start to squabble. They decide the nest isn't big enough for all three of them, so Paul moves out to build his own nest on the opposite end of the tree. Everyone is sad, but Betty assures Baby Bird: "You had a home,/now you have two,/four little words, dear-/We Both Love You." When summer comes, Baby Bird flies back and forth between the nests. Anholt's rhymes are bouncy, and Coplestone's watercolor illustrations are full of colorful curlicues. However, the bright pictures and tone of the book at the beginning are so cheerful that the parents' breakup comes as an unexpected shock. The reason for the split seems superficial-the nest was crowded. One may wonder why they just didn't build a bigger one so they would all fit. The sudden twist from a happy family tale to an allegory for divorce is disturbing.--Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

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