Posts tagged ‘good for booklovers’

January 20, 2012

Calvin Can’t Fly

Title: Calvin Can’t Fly

Author: Jennifer Berne
Illustrator: Keith Bendis

Publisher: Sterling Publishing, 2010

Suitable for: Ages 4-8

Themes: Family, Friendship, Importance of Learning, Individuality

Opening Sentences:

Calvin was a starling. He was born under the eaves of an old barn with this three brothers, four sisters, and sixty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-two cousins. Starlings have BIG families.

Right from the beginning Calvin was different …


Calvin is an unusual starling. While his siblings and cousins learn to fly, Calvin learns to read and let his imagination soar. Since Calvin was always reading, he never learned to fly; thankfully his siblings help him out during migration season. It is Calvin who saves the flock when they fly into stormy weather.


Here is a link to some activities, that focus around the formations that birds fly in. Another activity (I brainstormed), handout a coloring sheet of a book with a blank cover. Have kids come up with a story title and cover image of what they think Calvin would like to read next.

Why I Like this Book:

A perfect book for story time, and a must have for any book lover young or old.  I adore this book on so many levels. How do I love thee, let me count the ways:

I love that Calvin is a bookworm.
I love that being called a “bookworm” is a bad thing for birds, because it has the word worm in it.
I love Calvin’s silly siblings who help him out when it is time to fly away.
I love that Calvin saves the day with his book knowledge.
I love the book for its comical illustrations.
I love Ms. Bearne’s mastery of the written word. Pitch-perfect, tight, and full of humor.
I love Calvin’s character and voice in the story; he really does sound like a bibliophile.

I just love everything about this book. So run to your library or bookstore and get this book. It is a true gem.

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

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