Book Review of Opal’s Springtime Birdhouse
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The Children’s Book Review
Opal’s Springtime Birdhouse
Written by Emily Matheis
Illustrated by Albert Arrayas
Ages 4+ | 32 Pages
Publisher: Yeehoo Press | ISBN-13: 9781953458483
What to Expect: Perseverance, carpentry, nature, competition
Opal’s Springtime Birdhouse is about building and creativity, but more importantly, it’s a story about thinking through what matters and what does not.
Opal’s friends in Young Carpenter’s Camp all have fun and creative designs in mind for the birdhouse competition. Some plan shiny roofs, while others plan for doorbells and neon decorations. Opal, however, isn’t so quick to get started. Unsure about what makes a birdhouse a good birdhouse, she waits, thinks, and reads about birds and where they nest. When she finally gets to work, she builds a simple, sturdy house. It’s not perfect for a competition, as she will find out, but it is the only house perfect for a bird!
Opal’s victory is not that the other children come to admire her design but that her birdhouse was made with intention and fulfilled what was important to her—an invaluable message for readers in today’s world. Colorful pencil and paint illustrations are understatedly inclusive, normalizing ideas that should be normal but often aren’t, like “girls wear tool belts” and “wheelchair users do carpentry.” An information page at the end of the book provides facts about different birds’ nesting habits for readers who might want to try making a birdhouse of their own.
Opal’s Springtime Birdhouse is an excellent example of a picture book that is not only entertaining but also socially responsible and beautifully considered.
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About the Author
Emily Matheis is a two-time, award-winning picture book author through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a Maggie Award recipient for adult romance. She writes books for both children and adults with women and girls in intelligent, adaptable, and exemplifying roles that surpass the bounds of gender stereotypes.
For more information, visit https://emilymatheis.com/.
About the Illustrator
Albert Arrayás was born in Barcelona, Spain. His work reflects a delicacy, beauty, and above all a dream world accompanied by great details and textures. You can wander through or enjoy the blank space that can be filled by your imagination.
For more information, visit https://albertarrayas.squarespace.com/
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