THE VIDEO SHOP SPARROW by Joy Cowley

THE VIDEO SHOP SPARROW

Age Range: 5 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Skateboarding on New Year’s Day, sunflowers drooping over a fence hung with a holiday wreath, rooftop Santa Claus decorations—these things are not only possible but probable in New Zealand, where this story is set. Also probable, given the ubiquity of sparrows, is the conflict the book’s young protagonists, Harry and George, must resolve. The problem is that a sparrow, trapped in the video store and frantic for release, seems doomed. The store’s owner is on a two-week vacation and no adult in town cares much about sparrows because there are so many of them. But the two boys can’t ignore the sparrow, with its “special trusting look,” and when the town’s mayor, Mrs. McKenzie, recognizes a photo op, she steps in to rescue the sparrow. As for Harry and George, they’ve begun to notice that all sparrows have that special trusting look. This tale is well- plotted, although the outcome is never in doubt (and why can’t the boys pour bird seed or even water through the mail slot, where they drop off their video?). The illustrations, largely for their glimpse of life in New Zealand, combine with a text for a book that is inoffensive, competent, yet ultimately uninspiring. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-56397-826-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999